Needs vs. Strategies exercise

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Purpose: To help us explore the difference between what we do and why we do it. (Need vs. Strategy)

Think of something you very much want someone else to do, which you believe that person will not want to do. Why do you want it, what will you get out of having it?

Get together in pairs, and share your situation.

Write down: 1. What you want to ask

I was staying in different places in Colombo and had too much stuff to carry around. A friend offered her place to store my extra things for six months, then after two months wanted me to move them out, offered another friend's house, outside Colombo.

Example: I want you to keep my things at your house.

2. What will you get out of having 1?

Example: So that i will have easier access to my things.

Get back together in your pairs and try for a deeper reason. Why do you want 2? What would you get? Specifically, look for something positive. For example, i might say because I'm lazy but I don't feel good about that, so i would look for something else. (thinking about what would happen if you don't get it might also help)

Write down any new motives.

3. What will you get out of having 2?

Example: So that i'll have time for more meaningful activities. Also, i would know that i'm cared for.


Questions (and in parenthese, things to bring up if they don't discover themselves):

Do you feel differently about the situation now than you did before this exercise? How? (being connected to why we want something is valuable whether needs are being met or not - e.g. peace of mind, openness to understanding others)

How do you think the other person would respond if you told them the reasons why you want what you want?

Imagine you had to choose between 1 and 3. Which would you want? (Choose an example in which the choice is painfully obvious - i.e., 3 is really a need. If there isn't one, offer verbal empathy to get deeper until there is such an example.) (what to do if they choose 1 anyway?)

Other than 1, come up with several other ways that you could satisfy 3? (There's always more than one strategy to meet a need. Use one person's situation as an example - preferably one in which they've come to a need themselves - come up with three different strategies that would also meet that need.)

Is there anything else you noticed or learned from doing this?

(segues well into Eliciting needs list exercise)