Choice Theory Basics

This learning object contains a synopsis and learning activities drawn from William Glasser's Choice theory. It can assist individuals appreciate about personal responsibility for change as a component of effective collaboration.

Your needs profile

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Although we share the same basic human needs, we differ in the amount of each need we require. For example, while some people have a high need for social connections, (love and belonging), others are more driven by the need to achieve (power), the need to play (fun), the need for independence (freedom), all the need to be healthy and/or financially secure (survival). Arlin 'Pete' Peterson, a senior faculty member with The William Glasser Institute, developed an activity to help people understand their own needs profile, and determine to what degree they were successful at satisfying their needs. It is called Pete's Pathogram. To complete the pathogram:

  1. In the "WANT" column for each need, place a "W" in the box corresponding to the strength you believe you hold for that need in relation to the other needs. For example, you may have an "X" in the nine box for Love and Belonging, in the "7" box for Power, in the five box for Freedom, and in the six box for Fun. That, then, would be your needs profile.
  2. In the "HAVE" column for each need, place a "H" to represent how much of that need you think you are currently getting in your life.
  3. In the "ENERGY" column, place an "E" to represent the amount of time and energy you are currently expending to satisfy that need.
  4. What have you learned about your needs and the behaviours you are using to meet your needs? You might wish to discuss this with your group members.
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W H E W H E W H E W H E
Love and

Belonging

Power

Freedom

Fun

W = Want H = Currently have E = Time and energy