Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation – Behaviour

Where does FIRO-B come from?

FIRO-B is a theory of interpersonal relations developed by William Schutz in the 1950s. It was first published in 1958.

Schutz identified three need areas that fell in line with the three major psychoanalytical schools of thought. These were Jung’s focus on Extraversion and Intraversion, Adler’s focus on Power and Freud’s focus on Intimacy.
Schutz researched teamwork for the US Navy. He found ways to predict how much conflict there would be in a team based on the interpersonal needs of team members. Schutz identified three basic ways in which “people need people” showing that we all have interpersonal needs in the areas of:

  • Inclusion
  • Control
  • Affection.

If an interpersonal need is not met, we behave in a way to get that need met.

Why complete a FIRO-B questionnaire?

Completing the FIRO-B questionnaire and receiving feedback can be one way of increasing self-awareness. The FIRO-B instrument can help people to learn about themselves and their interpersonal needs, which can in turn help them to understand their interpersonal style.
The FIRO-B instrument and feedback will look at how you typically behave with other people and how you hope they will act towards you. People need people in different amounts and in different ways. Increased self-awareness can lead to greater choice and opportunities to develop new strategies.
Where two (or more) people complete the questionnaire, there is great potential to consider the interactions of those people, look at areas of potential or real conflict and explore how differing needs can be addressed.
Understanding your FIRO-B results can help you to:

  • Raise your awareness of your typical interpersonal behaviours.
  • Manage your behaviour and its impact.
  • Understanding the contributions of all team members.
  • Build more effective and rewarding relationships.
  • Understand the impact of interpersonal needs on work satisfaction and productivity.

The FIRO-B tool is frequently used in:

  • Improving working relationships
  • Leadership style
  • Teambuilding and team development
  • Management development
  • Career development
  • Understanding conflict
  • Assessment for selection
  • Communications and workshops

If you are interested in using the FIRO-B instrument, it is recommended that you contact Sophie to discuss your requirements. Please email Sophie on or telephone 07967 007 617.

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Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation – Behaviour

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