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Core Concerns: appreciation

Core Concerns: appreciation

Author: Marlene Johnson

At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand the importance of the role of perceived lack of appreciation in creating conflict and the presence of appreciation in a conflict resolution process.

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Core Concerns: Appreciation

Video Transcription

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We all need to feel appreciated and valued, and if we feel that we are not being appreciated in a particular context, it could lead to conflict. I'm Marlene, and in today's tutorial, I'd like to look with you at the role of appreciation not only in creating conflict but also in helping resolve it.

Now, appreciation is considered one of the core concerns in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. So what is a core concern? A core concern, per the Harvard Negotiation Project, is one of five emotional or relational needs all humans feel within relationships or negotiations. So it's one of five needs.

Now, all these core needs fit into the esteem and the love and belonging levels on Maslow's hierarchy. So those are the two levels where these core emotional and relational needs fit. Where does appreciation fit? Well, first of all, appreciation could be defined as a perception that one is heard, understand, and valued by others.

So appreciation really falls in this esteem level on Maslow's hierarchy, the esteem level. We all need to feel appreciated. And we need to feel that appreciation in many contexts in our life. If you think about it, you want to feel appreciated at home with the people that you live with, your family, your loved ones. You want to feel appreciated at work.

And you even want to feel appreciated in the larger community with acquaintances, with neighbors, people who live on the same block as you because it has to do with feeling valued, heard, and understood. So how could not being appreciated lead to conflict in one of these contexts? Well, at home, you might get into an argument, perhaps about chores, with somebody at home.

Maybe the person you live with, your spouse, who's doing what around the house, and you're angry because something isn't getting done. And underneath that anger, at the core may be this sense that you don't feel appreciated. You feel like you're being taken for granted. Or perhaps there was an anniversary or a birthday, and someone in the family forgot.

They didn't send you a birthday card. They didn't appreciate you in a way that you felt you would've liked to have been appreciated by this family member. So that lack of appreciation can lead to some feelings of resentment, anger, hurt, conflict. In a work context, you might find that you've been working hard. You're getting paid. But you're not getting any recognition.

Other people on your team have gotten some awards. In fact, a person who's been there less time than you got promoted. So you're feeling unappreciated. And this starts to lead to some conflicts with your coworkers because you're feeling resentful. And at the core of the feelings that you're having, the conflict you're having, is this feeling of not being appreciated.

Maybe you feel like others are getting credit for your ideas. So that isn't a work situation where we want to feel as though what we do is appreciated, that someone tells us that and we're not just getting a monetary reward. With neighbors, within the larger community, it can also lead to conflict. You might be living next door to someone, have a cordial relationship. You don't know them that well.

But then they go ahead and start to do landscaping, and you find out they're going to be planting some trees. And you've got a garden. It's always been sunny over there in your backyard. And they're planting these trees, and they didn't bother to tell you or to talk with you about it.

So you feel as though you're not being appreciated or even worth having a conversation about something this important that's going to affect you where you live. Or maybe you've shoveled the walk for them a couple times, and they've never acknowledged it, so you feel unappreciated.

These feelings do lead to a tension, perhaps an upset, an anger, and conflict. Now, in a conflict resolution process, it's very important to bring appreciation into the process. From the very beginning, if you sit down in a mediation, the mediator, the conflict resolver, will let the parties know that there's appreciation for simply coming and agreeing to be part of this process.

You're here. I appreciate you putting forth in good faith an effort to resolve the conflict. Then within the process, each party gets an equal chance to speak and be heard. So the need to be heard and understood is a core part of conflict resolution so that each party does feel appreciated that their position, their side is being heard and valued as you talk through the issues and come to some understanding.

So appreciation once again is one of the core concerns within Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Of course at the base of these needs are physiological needs and security and safety. If something happens NS we don't feel secure, we don't feel as though we have basic needs with food and water, we focus on those needs.

But once they're met, these core needs here-- esteem, love and belonging-- surface. And as human beings, we have these core concerns, appreciation being one of them. And a perceived lack of appreciation can lead to conflict. So I've enjoyed being part of this tutorial with you, and I look forward to next time.

  • Core Concern

    Per Harvard Negotiation Project, one of 5 emotional or relational needs all humans feel within relationships or in negotiation.

  • Appreciation

    A perception that one is heard, understood, and valued by others.