The Human Emotional Needs

Humans have developed over millennia to survive and thrive.  This is as true today as it was in Neolithic times.  In order to survive and thrive, humans need nourishment of various types.  These needs might be physical, such as water, food and sleep, but there are also emotional needs that must be met that are crucial to our wellbeing.  

In order to meet these needs, humans have within themselves, or at their disposal, a number of innate resources.  These resources help us to interact with our environment effectively and to understand the behaviour of those around us.

What is the relevance of this to aviation training?  Well, this is really the crux of the human factors training that has been the cornerstone of airline safety for decades.  It is also directly relatable to EBT principles. 

Despite 4th generation aircraft (ie FBW aircraft with flight envelope protections such as the A320) being much safer than those of previous generation, human interactions are still the weakest part of the safety equation.

Human interactions with other humans, equipment and technology define the role of pilots of sophisticated modern aircraft.  It is vital that we develop a clear understanding of ourselves and our co-workers if we are to manage these interactions effectively.  

Decades of health and social psychology research have identified emotional needs crucial to wellbeing. The human givens approach to health and wellbeing has distilled these down to the core drivers of human behaviour in the form of 9 emotional needs that must be met in sufficient balance for us to be mentally healthy.  Applying these to the training context helps us better understand the trainee, and their knowledge, skills and attitudes.  

The concept of emotional needs is not a new one and has been defined many times in various forms.  At Aquila, we have tried to develop the concept specifically within the aviation training environment as a means for instructors and trainees to evaluate their interactions and maintain their well-being.  In doing so, the performance of the individual will be optimal and interactions with others more effective.

First, here are some descriptions of the 9 emotional needs and a synopsis of how they can affect the training achieved in training environments, if not well met. Click on the link below to run the presentation.