Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior.
Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.
As Environmental Guides and Interpreters our direct engagement with our Guests becomes more intimate the closer we get to the top of Maslow’s pyramid. It is at the very top level, self-actualization, where we get the opportunity to facilitate truly, transformative experiences.
What Maslow tells us though, is for that to happen, there are basic physiological and psychological needs that need to be fulfilled first.
I.e. it takes the collective effort and cooperation of everyone on board the ship before you can operate at the level you need to.
If your Guests are tired, hungry, scared or insecure, you will not achieve the purposeful difference you were hoping to make.
MODEL the behavior you want to see.
CONNECT with the people you lead.
INVOLVE them whenever you can.
Author information: Ian Johnson
As a manager, chief executive, owner operator and consultant, Ian has actively participated in exploring every opportunity to exceed the expectation of the visitor.
All of this hands-on business experience has led to a passion for interpretation, storytelling and cultural communication.
How do we make our visitors: Love what we love just as much as we do? Have our passion matter as much to them as it does to us?
And be inspired to care about what we care about? Ian has most recently been training lecturers and guides in the polar regions, has tertiary qualifications in Adult Education, Graphic Design and Sports Coaching, and is the licensed owner of the TORE™ Interpretive methodology in New Zealand.