Three Universal Human Needs

I wrote last week about appreciation. As of late, I’ve been captivated by The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry. One of Lessonly’s customers recommended it to me, and it continues to move and challenge me. The “thin book” descriptor is accurate: It’s just sixty pages. But what it lacks in thickness, it makes up for in content.

I won’t share the entire theory of Appreciative Inquiry today, but will soon. In the meantime, if you want to learn about it, pick up a copy of the book. I do want to share one brief passage.

David Cooperrider, who first researched Appreciative Inquiry, noticed three universal human needs during his research:

“Every human has a need to (1) have a voice and be heard, (2) be seen as essential to the group (i.e. if I was absent, I would be missed), and (3) be seen as unique and exceptional.”

I don’t know about you, but these notions ring true to me—I’ve seen them play out in almost every single one of my personal and professional relationships. When we give others a voice, make them feel valuable, and celebrate their unique strengths, we all do better work and live better lives.

I want to help the people I care about most—both at home and at work—feel heard, understand that they are important, and uncover their gifts. I’d love to hear stories of how you do this in your life and work, or how someone has done it for you. Please feel free to reply to this email. I write these notes and all the replies go straight to my inbox.

Hope you have a great week,


P.S. We’ll be taking a couple weeks off from the weekly note in honor of Yellowship, which is now sold out. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.

This is Max’s note—a weekly message from Lessonly’s CEO about learning, leadership, and doing Better Work. Sign up below to subscribe via email. No spam, we promise!

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