Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation (Firo-B)

What is the Firo-B?

The Firo-B is a personality questionnaire which focuses on how individuals behave towards others and how they expect others to behave towards them.  Using a simple model of relationship styles, the Firo-B can reveal why there are sometimes ‘mismatches’ between what behaviour an individual expresses towards others, and what they would like in return.  The Firo-B offers profound insights and can therefore increase understanding of behaviour in the following areas:

  • How an individual comes across to other people and why this may differ from the impression they think they make or would like to make
  • How and why conflict can arise between well-meaning people
  • How an individual can best manage their own relationship needs when interacting with other people

Background of the Firo-B

Introduced by William Schutz in 1958, the theory of the Firo-B is based on his belief that when people get together in a group there are three main interpersonal needs they are looking to satisfy, - Inclusion, Control and Affection.  Schutz held the view that people need people in order to feel satisfied with life, and his development of the Firo-B enabled an insight into how much of the three behaviours individuals are willing and comfortable at expressing towards others, and how much of those three behaviours they want or feel comfortable having expressed to them in return.

What does the Firo-B measure?

The Firo-B specifically measures:

  • Inclusion – which means recognition, participation, prominence, belonging
  • Control – which means influence, leadership, responsibility, need for structure
  • Affection – which means closeness, support, openness, sensitivity, warmth

When can the Firo-B be used?

Because the Firo-B can increase the ability of an individual to understand three key interpersonal ‘need areas’,  it is well suited in both one-to-one as well as team settings in the following areas:

  • Personal development
  • Individual executive business coaching at all levels
  • Leadership and management development
  • Awareness of fit to future role
  • Senior level assessment
  • Relationship with stakeholders and clients
  • Conflict management
  • Raising self-awareness
  • Team development
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Workplace relationships

The Firo-B can additionally be used to identify sources of tension and can often help to provide the answer to ambiguous and complex relationship issues where other approaches might be less effective.

How long does Firo-B take to complete?

Typically, people take about 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire but there is no time limit.

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© 2011 Alison Peggs Consulting
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