What is Need Sucking

You will notice that there may be gaps between the way you perceive yourself and the way others have assessed you. These gaps do not represent what others believe you are lacking but what you may be taking away from them or what is not in line with their personal values about your position. We all have specific emotional gratifications that drive and motivate us. If these needs are taken away, so is our drive and motivation. The result is an unproductive environment.

In a closed group (a department, a company, a project group, even a family), some of these foundation needs may be taken away from us by the actions or mistakes of others. For example: when you are in a car going to the office or home, and you have someone next to you. You may experience that as you are approaching a street, one you have turned on hundreds of time before… and they say “Turn Here!” Immediately, you turn to this person and say “I KNOW!”

The person in the seat next to you was trying to fill their need for security and control or possibly, contribution. You have just had you need for Significance taken away… and you react to that. AND, when you do react, you take away their emotional gratification of control or contribution or significance from the person next to you in the process, changing the dynamics of what might have been a nice and pleasant trip, into conflict.

I thought my subordinates were lazy and didn’t care about their work, to my surprise; the EDMA helped me to see how I could turn this around and make others more motivated. The relationships we have now allow us all to get more fulfillment out of our work.

Aziz Abdul Rahman
VP Retail Fuels Division Petronas

Already Registered


This is called NEED SUCKING , and most of the time it happens Accidentally!
3 of the emotional needs that are sucked the most are:

Feeling significant, important

Feeling secure and in control
(Security, Control)

Feeling of diversity and variety

If you find you have a gap in one of these areas (Significance, Security and Control, and/or Diversity) where your score is higher than any of those who assessed you (Subordinates, Peers, and Superiors), then SORRY, but you are a need sucker in that group. To cultivate higher levels of effectiveness in that group, you must STOP SUCKING! The others are literally feeling invalid as members of your team, give up that tight hold or let other take the credit, or do some of the more fun tasks that are required. Look at other areas that you are NOT a need sucker, why? What’s different in that environment? Are you getting your needs suck in one environment so you take it from another? Assess yourself in these areas to see where you can give emotional gratification instead of take.

If all groups assessed you lower, in any of these areas, then you have a “Universal Gap”. And this means the problem is not only because of the circumstances of a specific environment, but it is inherent in you. In other words you are a habitual sucker, and others around you, no matter what environment probably keep there distance whenever possible. But there is hope. Knowing your weaknesses is the foundation to solving your issues and becoming a better manager. FIRST though, you need to admit you are a need sucker. ITS NOT OTHER PEOPLES FAULT! If you want to improve your management skills, and you want to make change happen, You need to take full responsibility before anything can change. You need to find other more productive ways to fill these needs (we recommend to read the book Identity Intelligence).

If you have gaps in other areas, then you have conflicting values about your role in the group. Others may see you as less supportive as you see yourself, this would mean that they see your roll as one that should provide more support that you think is necessary. If this is in one group, perhaps they simply need more direct guidance. If this is across all groups, then you have a definition conflict. In other words your view of what is “supportive”, is in conflict with the majority. You must either redefine your actions to meet expectations, or, communicate your definition clearly to manage expectations.

Certified and Accredited


The EDMA is a certified Directive Communication
Psychology Performance tool and is validated by the American Institute of Business Psychology