Meeting our needs

Meeting our needs

Ever since being trained in the use of Person Centred Planning MAP and PATH tools back in 2002, I’ve always been a fan of using visuals for planning. I use visual planning in my own business, as well as with individuals and teams.

More recently I’ve been considering all the different ways we can use visuals for personal development.

I’m developing a series of visual templates and wanted to share this one with you.

You may be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The author and coach Tony Robbins has developed Maslow’s theory to define what he calls the ‘6 Human Needs’. To help us to consider these needs and how we are meeting them – and in fact to take a step back and address more fundamental needs first – I have created this visual template.

Here’s how it works. Print out the template so you can fill it out. Feel free to add more doodles and drawings to clarify your thoughts as you work through it.

Meeting our needs visual template

Instructions for using the template:

1. First consider whether the basic needs of sleep, water, exercise and sunlight are being met (Tick the box underneath each need for all that apply). It is much easier to tackle change, make plans and move forward in life when these fundamental needs are being met.  If there is any need here that is not being met put energy into resolving this before moving on to the next stage.

2. Now from 1-10 score the level at which the following needs are being met:

  • Certainty/Comfort: The need for a level of predictability and security in life. At its basic level this is about knowing we have a roof over our heads, food on the table and people we can rely on, and that none of these elements are under threat.
  • Variety/Uncertainty: Variety is the spice of life (or is it?!) This is a need for change, spontaneity, risk and adventure, all of which are important in terms of adding interest and excitement in our lives.
  • SignificanceThis is the need to have meaning in our lives. We all want to feel important and to know that we matter to others and that we are are worthy of respect.
  • Connection/Love: The need to feel connected to and loved by other people, to feel part of a community and have close relationships.
  • Growth: This is the desire to grow, to develop, to learn new things, to stretch ourselves, to improve and to accomplish goals.
  • Contribution: This is the need to add value to the lives of others, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, to make a difference.

Once you have considered the extent to which your needs have been met add each ‘score’ to the relevant section in the template. You may wish to draw a line between each score to highlight how balanced (or unbalanced) your needs currently are. For example, if you scored 6 in each area when you draw the lines between each one the result will be a very balanced wheel, however, if you scored 2 in some areas and 8 in others, for example, your resulting wheel may be a little wobbly.

3. Select three needs you wish to focus on (these don’t necessarily need to be the lowest scoring) and ask yourself what small steps you can take in the next week to move forward in each of these areas.

Reviewing our basic needs on a regular basis not only supports us in creating foundations from which we can make plans, it can also help to inform those plans. The next time you are feeling stuck or having difficulty moving forward consider printing off this template and taking time to reflect on your needs.

I hope you enjoy this visual coaching template (note: this template is for personal use only). I’d love to get your feedback! Hit reply to this email to let me know in the comments what you think.


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Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Video: How to draw a symbol for icebreaker

Are you ready to break the ice?

When facilitating or training I often use a form of icebreaker to ease people into learning.

And whilst mention of term icebreaker can at times invite a rolling of the eyes, any occasion where I experimented with no icebreaker felt strained and uncomfortable.

And hey, icebreakers don’t have to be lengthy. There’s a lot to be said for a short ‘n’ sweet exercise.

In today’s video we look at how to draw a symbol for icebreaker.

Click on the image below to take you to the video.

Top Tip: Draw this image on a flipchart in advance of a session and then invite the group to share their ideas for icebreakers using post it notes. Vote for the favourite. You’ll have much more buy in when people are involved in the creation of the exercise.



Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Video: How to draw a car for your parking sheet

Do you use Parking Sheets in your work?

They are a great way to invite a pause when delivering a session and the content discussed is either:
a. not linked to the session topic
b. in too much detail to allow a proper discussion given the constraints of the agenda

You can use a Parking Sheet to ‘park’ the topic and return to it later.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to flex your visual thinking muscles by drawing a car! No Parking Sheet is complete without a customary car icon.

Now you too can quickly and easily recreate the style and presence of a VW Beetle. Click on the image below for your step by step video tutorial >>

All the best,

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 2

In Part 1 of series this blog posts, I shared some tips around how to build confidence in your drawing, concluding with the importance of focusing on the process and not the outcome.

Because this is such an important topic – lack of confidence stops people over and over again – we’re continuing with the theme this week.

I always say drawing is 50% skill and 50% mindset. Therefore it’s important to work on both to ensure success.

  • Resist the urge to edit as you go along. I know what it’s like. You start drawing a dog and before you know it looks like a hamster horse hybrid. Continue with the hamster horse hybrid until it’s a finished drawing. It’s at that point we can assess our drawing, analyse what went right and what went wrong and start again from fresh. Otherwise you can get yourself caught up in constant correction mode, not a helpful place to be.
  • Quieten your inner critic. Recognise when it makes an appearance. Even better draw your critic! Get your worries out of your head and on to the page.
  • Use pen and paper. Switch off the phone. Give yourself 5 minutes of non tech time. Drawing on a tablet can lead to constant corrections and distractions (notifications, emails, life). Watch out for this.
  • Share your drawings. One way to both quieten the inner critic and boost your confidence is to share your drawings. Resist the temptation to wait until you’re 100% happy with them. Be proud of where you are in your drawing journey today.
  • Enjoy the process. If you’re not enjoying it, stop. Do something else. You can always come back to it later.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.

All the best,

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 1

How to build confidence in your drawing Part 1

Feeling a bit wobbly when it comes to putting pen to paper? You’re not alone. If we don’t flex our visual thinking muscles on a regular basis we can easily lose confidence in drawing simple images.

Perhaps you’ve been on a course or bought a book, all fired up with enthusiasm, but then life got in the way and you’ve since lost your drawing mojo.

Here are some tips to help build your confidence:

  • Draw something every single day. An apple, a sun, a tree, anything at all. Just draw.
  • Always use your favourite marker or pen, don’t just grab the nearest drawing implement within reach. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy marker, just something you love.
  • Start small and break it down. Take one simple image and ask yourself, ‘What’s the first line I see?’ Copy that line down, and then the next, and the next.
  • Slow down. As my lettering mentor Heather Martinez says, ‘Form, then rhythm’. Take your time getting to know the shape, the construct of the image, the order in which you like to draw the lines. Once you’re comfortable with that, then speed up.

Emotionally disconnect from the outcome. Lean in to the process, the process of learning and discovery. This is a key component of the growth mindset which is closely connected to visual thinking.

I hope these tips encourage you to pick up the pen this week and reconnect you with your passion for all things creative.

All the best,

[Video] How to draw an icon for peace/meditation/reflection

[Video] How to draw an icon for peace/meditation/reflection

And here we are once more…

Another day, another major change, another opportunity to pause and feel grateful for a sense of community that goes beyond what we can experience in a physical sense.

And today I use this opportunity to share with you my YouTube video which I hope you enjoy.

On the theme of pausing and reflecting here is an icon I use an awful lot.

How might an icon for peace/meditation/reflection help you and your work right now?

Click on the image below to be taken to the YouTube video where you can follow along with me.

Stay well, stay positive.