The 10 Emotional Needs of Every Leader

by on in Leadership.

If I asked you, “What do you need?”

…you might be quick to cite physical things. Food, sleep, air, water, exercise.

…you might even go spiritual on me. Quiet time, community, prayer, Bible.

But, I think, few of you would acknowledge your emotional needs.

Yet… you were created with emotional needs.

In this truth hides one of the most powerful relational principles.

Check this out.

One of my heroes, Dave Lewis (Director of The Basic Idea Ministries, has compiled a list of our Top 10 Emotional Needs. Read through it… think about it… find your top 3… find your spouse’s top 3… find your kid’s top 3!

  1. ACCEPTANCE: deliberate and ready reception with favorable positive response, even after failure (Rom. 15:7)
  2. AFFECTION: to communicate care and closeness through physical touch and words (Rom 16:16)
  3. APPRECIATION: to communicate with words and feelings a personal gratefulness for another (I Cor. 11:2)
  4. APPROVAL: expressed commendation; to think and speak well of (Rom. 14:18)
  5. ATTENTION: to take thought of another and convey appropriate interest and support; to enter into another’s “world” (I Cor. 12:25)
  6. COMFORT (EMPATHY): to come alongside with word, feeling and touch; to give consolation with tenderness (Rom. 12:15)
  7. ENCOURAGEMENT: to urge forward and positively persuade toward a goal (I Thess. 5:11, Heb 10:24)
  8. RESPECT: to value and regard highly; to convey great worth (Romans 12:10)
  9. SECURITY: confidence of harmony in relationships; free from harm (Rom. 12:16a)
  10. SUPPORT: come alongside and gently help carry a load (Gal. 6:2)

This list is amazing to me.

It’s the playbook that Mr. Wrong will use to convince your daughter he loves her… and at the same time, it’s the checklist that you will use to see if Mr. Right is really Mr. Right.

It is the list that cheap leadership books will use to show you how to manipulate people… and it’s the stuff you naturally do for those you truly care about and lead.

This is the list that you can use to identify what your husband/wife is not doing when your upset with them… and it’s also the list you used when you chose to marry them in the first place.

This is the list that your best Small Group Leaders will use to reach your kids… or not.

Our emotional needs are key to our relationships. I would never try to apply a system to relationship… but… you’ve got to admit… My friend Dave has done a pretty good job of summing it up for us.

What do you think are your top 3 emotional needs? Did we miss anything?