People have a variety of needs: physiological, safety, and social. The social needs generally have two components : the desire to be validated by others and the desire to be part of something that is greater than oneself. Building morale , pride , and spirit helps to meet these social needs.
We are naturally drawn to people, situations, and organizations that validate us. What does being validated mean? For many of us, it means the following:
Being appreciated, recognized, and treated with respect, trust, dignity , and fairness
Being encouraged to feel special, valued, important, significant, cared about, and worthy
Receiving attention, acceptance, affirmation, and loyalty
Getting support, courtesy , and understanding
Being encouraged to feel that we belong, are affiliated , and are key members of the team
Being encouraged to feel good about ourselves and having our self-esteem boosted
For many people, such treatment can be motivating and inspiring . It can create a positive emotional connection between the person offering validation and the person being validated. Characteristically, the person offering validation gets a positive response from the person being validated: more cooperation, support, loyalty, and productivity. The validated person will identify with the validating sourcethe leader, as well as the team and the teams vision. He or she will have a new sense of purpose and will actually work harder. There will be a new sense of belonging , emotional support, and blending of attitudes. Team members will commonly assume more ownership, buy-in, and identification with the teams goals. The team will then experience greater trust, harmony, goodwill, cooperation, and accommodation. This will result in greater productivity and efficiency. More of the teams potential will be met.
A team provides an excellent context in which individuals can be personally validated. When this validation takes place through the process of shared experience, there is also a personal identification with the team, which helps to meet the social need to be part of something that is greater than oneself. A shared experience occurs when people live through or observe an event together as it occurs in real time. Examples of this include members of military units who serve together in wartime, sports teams that achieve great victories, people who go through a crisis together, and even families that experience births, deaths, marriages, graduations, successes, and disappointments.
Shared experiences are important because they are catalysts in providing an emotional connection among those who live through the same event. Individuals now identify with and receive a new sense of worth from being a member of the team. Their social need to be part of something that is greater than themselves is met.