Meet Your Needs

by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2012

In Parts One and Two of this article series, you discovered how job satisfaction feeds your income, success, health and relationships. You looked at how important it is that your work tasks match your passions, life purpose and long-term goals. You also explored a proven formula for gaining the professional happiness you want. Whether you’re self-employed, an employee or in an executive/leadership position, the first step of the journey to joy at work is to identify and meet your unmet needs.


This is worth repeating: Knowing what you need and require to be happy and professionally fulfilled is your key to The Kingdom of Happiness at Work. It’s sad that so many people think “needing something” places them in an inferior position.

All of us have unique needs and requirements. If you don’t know and share your specific needs in effective ways, your wish list will expand like Pinocchio’s fairy tale nose. Your list of needs will grow longer and longer until it distorts your vision and zaps your chances for happiness. When you know how to ask for help, using the win-win formula I’m sharing with you, the opposite will happen. Your frustrations can vanish like a feather in a hurricane.

You can see why knowing what you need places you in a position of power.

• Since you are ultimately the one person responsible for identifying and meeting your needs, self-awareness helps you avoid the trap of waiting for someone else to recognize your needs and make you happy. Other people may never notice you need something. Your requirements may be very different from theirs. You are the perfect spokesperson for you. No one else will ever understand you as well as you do.

• YOU alone have the power and the responsibility to create lasting professional contentment (not a short-term high like receiving an award) when you’re working. There are hundreds of easy ways to create bliss when you work. Some techniques will suit you like a tailor-made garment. Other strategies won’t appeal to you. They won’t match your personality or address your specific requirements. You can only nurture yourself when you’re aware of your very special nature, so become the world’s leading expert on you.

• If you’re self-employed, you are the CEO of your own organization. Knowing what you need will ensure that you treat your most important employee (you) with total respect. What do you really require in order to stay enthusiastic, passionate and productive? Even the highest levels of achievement won’t please you in the long-term if you aren’t taking care of yourself, meeting your needs and enjoying true work-life balance.

• Discover the most effective ways to ask for assistance. Clients, coworkers, vendors and managers often trip over their own feet as they scramble to support people who smile while they work. In any organization, happy employees receive many more perks, promotions, and raises than grumblers.


Forget the macho advice that it’s a sign of weakness to ask other people for help. It’s a sign of inner strength and high self-esteem. You’re simply saying, “I deserve assistance.” You’re also giving other people a compliment because you’re recognizing their strengths.

None of us has the time or is capable of doing everything that needs to be done. All of us sometimes need assistance. Even when other people aren’t aware of it, they help themselves when they lend you a hand.

Part of your job description is to communicate your unmet needs in ways that ensure you’ll be heard and understood. This is non-negotiable because you’ll be much more effective when your needs are met.


These two simple tips will help you communicate your needs and gain the resources you need so you can do your best work. This proven communication technique is also fun because other people become excited about helping you meet your needs in win-win ways.

GUIDELINE #1  –  Communicate with phrases that emphasize The Greater Good. People who use this “We are all one” approach have the best chance of being heard and getting their needs met.

 GUIDELINE #2  –  Design a compelling proposal that sells ideas by promising accountability. 

Here’s an example illustrating how to approach someone whose assistance or approval you need. Let’s say you really dislike doing one of your major tasks but you can’t delegate it to someone else. With your strengths in mind, suggest a better way to spend your time.

“I can help all of us make more money by using my time doing what I’m uniquely qualified to do.”

After spelling out the specific benefits for the organization when your idea is implemented, seal the deal. Promise precise results in exchange for a trial of your proposal. Anticipate potential resistance and respond to possible challenges. The example below includes all of these essential, win-win components. Clients who’ve used this formula told me, “It guaranteed a successful negotiation.”

“I’ll personally supervise an outsource vendor. If we don’t see positive results after a six-month trial basis, I’ll cheerfully return to the way we’re doing business now.”


Instead of standing on the sidelines longing for your needs to be fulfilled, become an active participant in the great game of giving and receiving.

• Think about one of your unmet needs.

• Practice telling other people how they’ll benefit when your needs are met.

• Outline how you can sincerely use phrases describing The Greater Good and promising accountability.

In the next article in this “Secrets of Happiness While You’re Working” series, you’ll practice more advanced techniques that I guarantee will help you very quickly gain the attention and resources you need.


© 2012. Excerpted with permission from the #1 Bestselling book, “Joy on the Job” by Doris Helge, Ph.D. With over 25 years of experience, award-winning, Certified Master Coach Dr. Doris, has a proven track record of helping people like you enjoy meaningful work and relationships, including powerful professional partnerships. Enjoy life-changing videos at Download your free ebooks and see client testimonials at You may reprint this article as long as it remains intact and proper attribution is given.


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