The desire for power and the desire for vengeance… You may automatically assume that these are male traits. Surprise, surprise! Wojtek and Kalina have never met. They work in different cities and for different companies. Each of them came to us at a different time. But they both have the same problems. They don’t get along with their bosses. They don’t get along with their teams. They are both mature, have a university diploma, and dozens of training certificates. But the relationship problems they face just won’t go away. People can have very different needs. Sometimes they can be so strong that they’ll control what we do, even though they cause us harm. When two strong needs come together and are acting in the same direction, that’s a sure recipe for disaster. If that happens, we have no choice: we have to roll up our sleeves and regain conscious control over our relationships and behaviour. Wojtek and Kalina have been team leaders for years. They are extremely effective in their roles but they are also confrontational and unpopular. With their strong desire for power, they always want to be right. They feel their choice is always the right one, and they want to have the deciding voice in every situation. They get all fired up and they see every discussion and relationship as an opportunity to compete. Who’s not with me is against me – deep down that’s how they feel and they can’t control that. Power and vengeance. For Kalina and Wojtek, these are the strongest out of the 16 basic human desires that exist. How do you live with that? When your desires start being disruptive instead of being helpful, you know it’s time for a decision. You have to make your own conscious decision whether you want to let your personality take over or change your habits, patterns, and behaviours to live a happier and more satisfying life. People are born with a certain DNA and grow up in an environment they can’t control. But in adult life, we do have a choice! If you feel you have a strong desire for power and vengeance, we have a few tips for you that will help you build better relationships, both in your professional and personal life:
– Work on your listening skills: before you say something, give the other person time to express his/her opinion
– Before you give someone a solution, ask him/her what he/she thinks about it
– Keep in mind that other people may need more time than you to make a decision so give them the time they need
– Do you prefer to be right or to have a relationship? Whenever you want to get it all your way, ask yourself this question.
– If you let your emotions take over and become rude, just leave the room and come back after you’ve calmed down and always apologize
– learn to predict the likelihood of a victory and let go once you know you can’t win
– if you start feeling aggressive, don’t make any move or decision until you’ve calmed down.
People with a strong desire for power and vengeance have a hard time accepting those who don’t have such needs. They tend to see them as indecisive, passive, helpless, weak or lacking initiative. At the same time, they seem themselves as ambitious, firm, effective, inquisitive and capable of facing any challenge. Professor Reiss’ research provides clear evidence that we have a difficulty seeing people whose needs are the exact opposite of our own in a positive or at least neutral way. We don’t understand them, we find them strange, and we judge them negatively. The hardest part for Wojtek and Kalina was to acknowledge that their needs aren’t the only legitimate needs people may have and that if they want to have successful relationships, they need to open up to other perspectives and to other people. They have to accept the simplest truth of all: everyone is different.
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