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Maslow described human needs as ordered in a prepotent hierarchy — a pressing need would need to be mostly satisfied before someone would give their attention to the next highest need. None of his published works included a visual representation of the hierarchy.

The Hierarchical Triangle of Needs

Maslow represented his theory as a hierarchical triangle. This shows how basic needs must be met before one can “climb” the hierarchy, to address more complex needs. They may look at this in terms of feelings such as self-confidence or by accomplishing a set goal.

  1. At the bottom, we find the basic needs of a human being: food, water, sleep, sex, homeostasis, and excretion.
  2. The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability”.
  3. The third level of need is “Love and Belonging”: when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others.
  4. The fourth level is the “Esteem” level; the need to be competent and recognized, such as through status and level of success.
  5. At the top of the pyramid, “Need for Self-actualization” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding because they are engaged in achieving their full potential.

This is the first lesson in the course: CC Motivate all the employees