Topic 3 Are you driven by power or achievement?

McClelland identified that humans have three basic needs, irrespective of our age, race or gender. These needs are learned throughout our lives and include:

  1. The need for achievement
  2. The need for affiliation
  3. The need for power

People who have a need for achievement are driven by a need for mastering tasks. They prefer to receive feedback on any work that they do, and love a task with a degree of challenge.

 People who have a need for affiliation are motivated to maintain social relationships with others. They seek a sense of belonging, wishing to be loved and accepted by those around them. Sometimes, people who have a need for affiliation worry about the small details in life, especially if they are liked by others. These people tend to have low self-esteem.

People with a need for power have a desire to teach and encourage others, however, if channelled incorrectly or inappropriately, this can result in excessive self-esteem. People with a need for power are often said to put their goals before the needs of others.

Here are some common traits and characteristics of people who experiencing a need for achievement; a need for affiliation; and a need for power.

People who have a need for achievement often:

Like regular feedback.

Are motivated by the achievement of their goals and objectives.

Tend to avoid situations that involve risk.

Do well with regular feedback.

People who have a need for affiliation often:

Enjoy being part of a group and working with others. 

Enjoy begin liked and respected by others.

Tend to avoid situations that involve risk.

Follow rules and social norms so that they are not rejected.

People who have a need for power often:

Seek out opportunities to prevent others from achieving power.

Have a desire to lead and be in charge of others. 

Enjoy competition and winning.

 Enjoy having high status.