Behavioural Motivators: The need for acceptance

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The need to belong is part of the basic human condition. As such the individual within a business will strive to gain acceptance by his or her work colleagues and management. Whilst this may be desirable to the individual the ‘need to be accepted’ can result in some unfortunate and unacceptable side-effects if taken to an extreme.

When wishing to please everyone, at whatever cost, the inability to say no can rear its ugly head. Agreeing to undertake every request for service, regardless of one’s ability to deliver can lead to significant stress and the achieving of not acceptance but rejection. NO is a word that should be learned and used wisely.

In the pursuit of acceptance the desire to please others can be manifest in a lack of assertiveness. The individual, in not promoting their opinion, even when strongly held, not only increases the likelihood of their own frustration but also does not allow the balance of contrasting opinions to influence the way a busuness can operate.

Exhibiting the desire to please can also affect some of the baser instincts of others through their realisation that the ‘pleaser’ can be manipulated to suit their own ends. The individual themselves, exhibiting this behaviour, could again risk rejection through being thought to be a ‘Yes Man’.

At an extreme the desire to please and win acceptance can result in self-serving, sycophantic behaviour. This behaviour is certainly not in the best interest of the business.

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