Fundamental Interpersonal Relationships Orientation (FIRO®) Behaviours (B), Feelings (F) and Self (S) – the work of Will Schutz

What it is
FIRO, developed by the American psychologist Will Schutz in 1952, is a simple but hugely powerful model based on the underlying thought that if we know ourselves and like ourselves we will be happier and more able. It challenges us to consider our feelings of competence, significance and likeability and the impact that these have on the way we behave towards others. It asks us to explore what we want and what we get and to face the gap that exists between the two. As a result we know ourselves better, like ourselves more and so spend less of our personal energy feeling vulnerable and defending ourselves. The direct outcome of working through the FIRO model is a greater understanding of what makes us and others tick and an increase in personal awareness. At work we stop worrying about if we’re “OK” and about protecting ourselves, and instead use our energy to get the job done.

Why we use it
The model is great used with individuals one to one, or in groups;

  • To provide insight for an individual who is repeating the same unsuccessful patterns of behaviour but isn’t sure why
  • To support those who spend time worrying what others think of them
  • To change the behaviours of someone who currently behaves inappropriately
  • To provide insight as to why people don’t always feel good about themselves and how they can change that
  • To empower people and get them to own the choices that they make
  • To help people understand their reaction to change and transition and develop strategies to cope
  • To build self-confidence
  • To create self-awareness and awareness of others within a team so that they get better results through their relationships
  • To develop coaching skills
  • To develop emotional intelligence