It was a Thursday afternoon business luncheon, pretty standard protocol — a bit of networking before lunch was served, small talk and getting to know those at my table, and then a presentation from featured speakers.
Afterwards, we were asked to mingle about the room and say to each person we were speaking with “I need ____” filling in the blank with what we most needed. Since this was a business luncheon, most everyone filled in that blank with something they needed for their own business or career. The person receiving the “I need” was instructed to figure out how they could best provide what was requested. Then, we were to switch places and vice versa, continuing the process as we moved from person to person.
This was a fascinating and eye opening exercise. We rarely use the word need, or say “I need.” Societal norms tell us that most of what we think we need we really want, that anything beyond water, food, and shelter is a luxury. And, somehow it is okay to ‘want’, but not ‘need.’
Saying the words “I need” aloud felt both powerful and liberating. It was so truthful, honest, direct and to the point. There was also a feeling of wanting to provide more to someone because they were saying to you “I need ____.”
I encourage you to take this for a spin. Try saying the words “I need ____” aloud for what you most need in your life right now, both personally and professionally. Get comfortable saying it to yourself and to others. Similarly, when talking with others and offering help, instead of asking “How can I help?” ask “What do you NEED?”
See what a powerful impact this can have.
How does it feel to say these words? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section below.
*image courtesy of opal mariell