The FIRO-B® Test: Honing in on Your Interpersonal Wants and Needs

Jonathan Bollag, Owner and FounderAssessments, FIRO

"Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior assessment, also known as the FIRO-B® test, was originally created by William Shutz in 1958. Shutz believed that we all have needs that exist in varying degrees over and above our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. His work and conclusions rallied around the thesis that our interpersonal relations and how we want to interact , and actually how much we do interact with others can be estimated and scored.

According to The Introduction To The FIRO-B Instrument (Waterman & Rogers), The six types of interpersonal measurements (needs) included in The instrument, and in turn in your results are:

  • Wanted Inclusion
  • Wanted Control
  • Wanted Affection

And…

  • Expressed Inclusion
  • Expressed Control
  • Expressed Affection

Our three basic needs are:

Inclusion– how much you include others in your life and how much you want others to include you in their lives

Control– how much influence and authority do you want over others and how much do you want others to have authority over you? In addition, how much responsibility do you want over others and how much do you want others to be responsible for you?

Affection– how close and warm are you with others and how close and warm do you want others to be with you?

So…

What are the differences between The FIRO-B test’s wanted and expressed dimensions as they relate to our needs?

The difference lies in how we prefer to relate to others and be related to by others. So a wanted need is how much you want to have others (individuals and/or groups and teams) utilize Inclusion, Control and/or Affection towards you while expressed needs are how you want or do instill these needs towards others.

For example..,

In regards to our need for Affection, perhaps you might want others to show Affection towards you, but you might not be as comfortable expressing this want to others nor want to show affection towards others. Therefore you most likely would have a mid-range or lower score for Expressed Affection and a higher or mid Range score for Wanted Affection.

The important point is that when we become aware of our differences and our own selves we can learn how to improve and get what we want out of our careers. Perhaps you don’t understand why the teams in your small business keep running into the same problems – deadlock. Perhaps the team you have created simply cannot make a decision for themselves without you or another executive’s intervention. Well this is not the object of teams in businesses. We hope that business and project management teams can work together with perhaps some constructive conflict to promote growth, but as a business owner or executive manager you do not want to have to make decisions for your team. A team should be able to complete a project independently and only then should the final project go to an executive’s desk for final approval.

This Assessment can help managers, executives and business owners filter through a team to find out who is most suitable to lead, and how the team can further understand their differences and inter personal styles.

Other Assessments that can help in team and leadership building situations assessments include, but are not limited to:

The MBTI Work Styles Assessment tests two members of a team or two co-workers whom you wish to retain but cannot seem to understand each other. This assessment further explains how the two employees can integrate with one another through their MBTI test differences and similarities.

To Reiterate:

The Introduction To The FIRO-B instrument explains that an “expressed need is what you actually do and may be easily observable by others and groups” (Waterman, J. & Rogers, J P.2).

While a wanted need…

“Is what you really want from others-whether or not you show it openly” (Waterman, J. & Rogers, J P.2).

That is whether or not you show your need for Inclusion, Control and/or Affection openly or not, a wanted need still remains what you want from other individuals and/or groups.

Downloadable Sample Reports are available throughout Career Assessment Site. In addition, for more detailed information visit our services page.