Life Coach Application of Maslow's Hierarchy Provides Relationship Advice
Dr. Joseph Abraham

A real Life Coach should not rely only on personal awareness or intuition but also be well equipped with leading behavioral theories and paradigms. One of the more successful insightful approaches to people's relationships is outlined in Abraham Maslow's ideas about the psychological needs of humans. It could be a worthwhile practice to listen to a client's case and draw recommendations for her/him/them in a form of 'to do list' based on the gap between the real life story of 'relationship' and the expected theoretical way of handling 'relationship'. A life or business coach that understands the application of the theory will definitely assist clients to trigger and activate affiliation instincts and motivational forces to invest in the relationship (personal or business and work related).

Life Coach's Relationship Advice needs not to change people, as in psychotherapy, but to be the catalysis factor behind the the client's evolution or rejuvenation of mutual attraction, affection and the need to see the spouse / family / business partner as a close ally; not only a spectator but a shareholder. Much of the needed ingredients can extracted from 'Maslow’s Hierarchy', that reviles the motivational foundation of each of us. The theory postulates that human behavior is influenced by a hierarchy of five types of needs or motives. It is important to follow the original paradigm which indicated that the lowest level needs must be satisfied before people can be motivated by higher level goals. 

The basic human needs, called 'The Physiological', explains our constant dependency and search for food (basic income), water, oxygen, activity, sleep and sex. In counseling it is easy to find that unfulfilled sexual needs and desires are often play a major part in many relationship issues. No wonder therefore that a practical relationship advice to any couple is to assess their adult interaction and determine how both of them are satisfying their sexual needs. The motivation to achieve basic business / income needs is fundamental for each business partner too; and therefore it is easy to predict that lack of harmony here would not allow to a fair relationship last for long or survive without permanent tension.

The next class of motivational factors to be discussed is 'The Safety Needs' which are naturally linked to any long term and meaningful relationship (personal and work related as well). This is about everybody's expectation to be cared for and have a secured future. Countless songs and stories share the same theme: each wants to assure or impress the partner about his or her contribution for care and devotion as well as for financial strength and stability. Many relationship cracks (both personal or work related) can be explained as the result of one partner's fear that the other one is not willing or able to contribute either a sufficient emotional care or financial stability.   

Intimacy is not sex...; it is a deeper sense of bonding and sharing, characterized as 'Belonging and Love'  by Maslow. This is the next class of needs which explains our motivation to find not only a sex partner but also a close friend; a partner that can be trusted. Affectionate nonsexual relationships are as important as the sexual ones since they fuel the relationship along the time. This need is shown very early in the mating process, as any dating can verify. Leadership and social loyalty are rooted in this level of psychological needs, and explain many themes in the work place and the business world.

Most relationships would crack and not hold for a long time, if each one's need to be respected as a useful and honorable individual would not be met. 'The Need for Self Esteem' as the theory named, is a powerful motivating force that attracts couples at the very early stages of their quaintness. Many couples of 'empty nest' families go into crisis once one of the parents claims that there is no more respect for his self esteem. Retention of talent, at workplaces, starts here. Loyalty to the company is most often linked to this factor.

'Self Actualization' is the most powerful need according to Maslow's Hierarchy. It is easy to assess that children and family's wealth are the common major areas that allow each member of the union a fulfillment of this need. In a healthy work life each member reaches his or her full potential as a result of the organization help to fulfill life missions. Exploring together how to enhance relationship and intensify life satisfaction and the pleasure of achievement, beyond money, is probably one of the most prescribed relationship advice for organizational success.   

To summarize, Maslow's theory about our basic needs plays a huge part in the field of Relationship Advice, for personal harmony, marriage, and business. A good counselor must know and understand 'the business of human behavior' and this theory is a great contributor for this effort.