Fourth Level – Esteem Needs and Trust Respect

November 9, 2009

RespectThere are actually two types of esteem needs all humans have, according to Maslow’s theory – a lower one, seeking the respect of others and a higher one, seeking self-respect.

I think of the need to feel recognized and respected by others as a compliment to the social need we reviewed earlier last month. We relate to others because we also care about them needing us, trusting us.

Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, provide a convenient platform for people to showcase their expertise in a field, connect with peers and even seek new employment opportunities online. But it is by posting recommendations people show the respect for each others’ work ever publicly.

In turn, being accepted and valued by others can help one boost his/her own higher need for self-respect. But beyond recognition by others, self-esteem also requires inner-confidence and self-acceptance. And experience can help with that. Take blogging for example.

Generally, one has to be somewhat confident in their expertise or ability to convey their views to others to even start a blog on a particular topic (unless it is a required class assignment ☺). But as others start to follow posts, trusting the blogger with their time and respecting what they have to say, this external confidence (and even the potential for fame) can do wonders to boost the blogger’s self-esteem – motivating them to be better, more entertaining, to become even more valued.

This need for esteem is also partly why we trust the recommendations of others who have reviewed a product they purchased or tested. As we’re bombarded with so many options at our fingertips, it’s certainly comforting to scroll down to a few reviews of people that can relay, first hand, their real experiences with a product and help narrow down the choices. And they often do help.

Even without knowing reviewers personally, their self-professed expertise is usually enough reason for you to trust them. So you can rate just how helpful they were, respectfully returning the favor with your appreciation…  The saying “what goes around, comes around” comes to mind…

‘Till next time. Tchau!
Raquel

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