Step 3: Needs

What is a need?

The term need often triggers the association according to need. Many believe that they then appear in need and may need the help of others. This idea alone makes many cramp and they do not dare to name or even live out their need. to meet. That is why it is important first and foremost to clarify what a need is in the first place. Because we all have needs. And everyone wants to be able to live them.
A need is something fundamental. It is a desire to satisfy a perceived deficiency or to satisfy a lack of to correct an actual deficit. You may be aware of the pyramid of needs after Maslow. It shows what needs we all have.
In addition to the basic needs of food, drink and sleeping, we have a need for security (which we meet, for example, through housing, money and work), a social need (for example, friendship, love and belonging), a self-need (for example, recognition), the need for self-realization and others.
All our needs are built on top of each other, which is made very clear by the pyramid of Maslow. For your life, this means that only when a need is satisfied can the next need be perceived.

As an example:
You are in a conference. Your registration was made because you have a need to exchange ideas with your colleagues. You want to be in touch with them and it is precisely such meetings that make this possible for you. For this conference, you have prepared yourself well, collected information that you would like to pass on. In the middle of the panel discussion, you will feel the pressure of your bubble. The coffee break was just too seductive, so you drank two cups of coffee instead of one. While you are now noticeably feeling your bubble pressure, you leave your concentration for the conversation. Your desire to go to a toilet grows with every minute and the chance of an informative exchange decreases per second. Your concentration for discussion can only increase once you have emptied your bladder.

This example shows that we must satisfy one need before we can turn to the second. Basic needs always come first and everything else comes after that.
Every need we perceive always has to do with us. No one else "makes" us needs. At the same time, needs are always in the now. They are not playing in the past or in the future. In non-violent communication, we understand needs regardless of place, time and person. It is important that you can perceive them and accept them gratefully – when they are alive in you. By perceiving, you have the opportunity to consider a strategy for fulfilling your needs.

Conflicts arise at the strategy level for meeting needs

If different interests meet, this is on the one hand an expression of a living coexistence. On the other hand, conflicts can arise from this.
Just as each medal has two sides, so does the fulfillment of needs has two. One side is that you are doing something good for yourself. So if you have perceived a need, then you are fulfilling it. This can be done, for example, by getting something to eat (need: hunger), booking a trip (need: growth/exchange with other cultures) or going to a seminar (need: learning/communication). You do all this for yourself and never to harm anyone else. Because you know that your needs belong to you and that only you are responsible for it.
The other side of the coin becomes visible when others come up against your ideas or dislike your implementation. This can then lead to conflicts that burden communication and coexistence. In order to resolve conflicts or disputes, it is important to talk about them. Unfortunately, discussions are then often held at the strategy level without identifying and perceiving the underlying need.

An example:
Helga and Kim sit in a two-person office. For lunch, Kim brings her own bread tin daily. Helga, on the other hand, loves to go to the canteen. Today there are gyros with garlic sauce in the canteen. Helga loves garlic and accordingly the portion is large.
Kim is not doing so well on this day. The change in weather causes headaches, which strongly influences the concentration when working. After the lunch break, Helga comes back to the office, sits down at her desk and goes to work. The garlic sauce is currently spreading in the room. With this fragrance, Kim has great difficulty focusing on the work.
A discussion between the two is about whether or not garlic sauce should be eaten during the lunch break. The discussion becomes so intense that Kim eventually goes home earlier, hoping that the smell will disappear from the office tomorrow.
In this conversation, both interlocutors discussed at the strategy level, ignoring their needs. If they had become aware of their different needs, they would have had the chance to find a common solution instead of getting lost in the discussion.

Back for example:
Kim needs clear and clean air to continue to focus on work despite headaches. Helga has the need for conviviality during the lunch break and for food in order to carry out the tasks conscientiously until the end of the day.
Thus, different needs meet and thus also different strategies for meeting needs meet.
Instead of discussing the smell of garlic, both have the chance to share their needs – which are alive at this moment. This gives the other person a chance to know how the other is doing and can react to it. Together, a solution can be found that meets all needs without anyone feeling restricted.
In the example above, a solution idea might be to open the window to neutralize the smell. Another possibility would be for Helga to agree to give up garlic while working in the future and get a chewing gum for this moment. Another option might be for Kim or Helga to pursue an activity that takes place outside the room.
Conflicts arise from the strategy of fulfilling needs and not from the need itself. In joint discussions, the need can be identified and then a constructive handling of conflicts can take place.