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Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation

For more than 50 years, the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO®) approach has helped people understand their interpersonal needs and how those needs influence their communication styles, problem solving, decision making and behaviour – thereby improving their personal relationships and professional performance.

Please take a moment to view this short video to learn about the FIRO® instrument.


    • The FIRO®; instrument is a very insightful profiling and team dynamic tool that we use with senior leadership teams to increase interpersonal awareness and identify how senior leaders can work together effectively.

      Geoff Lorigan, Director, Institute for Strategic Leadership


The FIRO® instruments:

  • Build awareness and understanding of interpersonal dynamics and issues in the workplace.
  • Address the core of personality - people’s underlying needs - and precisely identify sources of tension in relationships.
  • Provide specific insights and spotlight opportunities for individuals and groups to effect productive behavioural change.
  • Facilitate team formation and functional effectiveness.
  • Help grow great leaders who understand their own unique style, strengths and challenges; leaders who understand the interpersonal needs that drive their communication and behaviour and how the resulting leadership style can affect others - and either limit or unleash organisational potential.

Introduced over 50 years ago by psychologist and group dynamics pioneer William Schutz, the 54-item Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B®) instrument gives individuals objective insight into how they behave toward others and how they wish others to behave toward them - and why. It nurtures their awareness of what they want from their relationships with others and how they express their wants, and based on that awareness, it enables them to communicate more clearly, collaborate more effectively and create a more productive, harmonious group environment.

Use this instrument to cultivate highly effective teams by helping team members discover how their needs for participation, influence and closeness form their team’s success. The instrument measures interpersonal needs on three scales:

  • Inclusion - or participation and recognition within a group
  • Control - as expressed as influence, responsibility, or leadership
  • Affection - or rapport with others


Explore the Model

Below you can see how the FIRO-B® assessment is scored in the table below.


Explore the FIRO® Model

After taking the assessment, the user receives scores indicating low, medium or high wanted and expressed needs for each of the six elements within the below FIRO® table.

Expressed behaviors Expressed behaviors Expressed behaviors are the behaviors you initiate towards others Total Expressed Total Expressed Your Total Expressed score indicates how much you like to take the initiative. Total Wanted Total Wanted Your Total Wanted score indicates how much you like others to take the initiative. Wanted behaviors Wanted behaviors Wanted behaviors are the behaviors you want to receive from others. Overall Overall Indicates the strength of your need for general interpersonal contact and interaction. Total Inclusion Total Inclusion If this column is highest it indicates Inclusion is your interpersonal need that most strongly influences your behavior in relationships Total Control Total Control If this column is highest it indicates Control is your interpersonal need that most strongly influences your behavior in relationships Total Affection Total Affection If this column is highest it indicates Affection is your interpersonal need that most strongly influences your behavior in relationships. Inclusion Inclusion Inclusion is the need to belong Control Control Control is the need for influence Affection Affection Affection is the need for intimacy. Expressed Inclusion Expressed Inclusion is the extent to which I make efforts to include and involve others in my activities. Wanted Inclusion Wanted Inclusion is the extent to which I want others to include and involve me in their activities. Expressed Control Expressed Control is the extent to which I make ef - forts to control and influence others. Wanted Control Wanted control is the extent to which I want to be in an environment that provides me with structure and clarity. Expressed Affection Expressed Affection is the extent to which I make efforts to be warm and friendly to others. Wanted Affection Wanted Affection is extent to which I want others to make efforts to be warm and friendly to me.

A corollary instrument, the 32-item FIRO Business® instrument developed by The Myers-Briggs Company, focuses more specifically on leadership and organisational performance. The FIRO Business® instrument helps you develop great leaders while improving organisational performance. It is particularly valuable to businesses because it quickly gathers key insights for relating to direct reports, superiors and peers, influencing and negotiating, making decisions and setting priorities.

The instrument uses scale names featuring more business-focused language - Involvement, Influence, and Connection. It has only 30 items for an even shorter administration time and is ideal for global use, with scoring based on sample norms in 10 languages.

As the FIRO® approach links directly to behaviour, it makes it easier for your clients to accept the results and facilitate behavioural change.


Certification in the FIRO® Instruments

The FIRO® instruments are what we call ‘Restricted’ and you need to be trained and certified to access and use them. This ensures that the instruments are used for the purpose for which they were designed and that they are being administered and interpreted correctly.

We offer a FIRO® Certification Program that will qualify you in the professional and ethical administration of the FIRO® instruments and upon successful completion of the program, you will gain a certificate of qualification to purchase and use both the instruments and their reports.

ICF CCE logo 

Please note that the FIRO® Certification Program has been approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for the following Continuing Coach Education (CCE) hours:

  • Core Competencies: 2.5
  • Resource Development: 10

Public FIRO® Certification Programs are currently available in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and other locations in the Asia Pacific region upon request.

If you would like to discuss an in-house Certification Program for your organisation, please contact us.


Key Benefits

  • Creates an opportunity to effect behavioural change quickly by providing specific insights into people’s interpersonal needs
  • Identifies existing communication and interpersonal dynamics that affect leadership success - helping people overcome or prevent issues
  • Details strengths and development recommendations for improving leadership performance
  • Supports effective leadership development, one-on-one coaching, communication and team effectiveness and performance
  • Work as stand-alone tools or can be combined with other tools, such as the MBTI® instrument, to provide a comprehensive view of personality, interpersonal needs and behaviour


Instrument Features

  • Explores leadership style through the FIRO Business® Leadership Report and the Leadership Report using FIRO-B® & MBTI®
  • Presents a succinct yet complete summary and interpretation of instrument results in a clean, graphic design
  • Streamlines administration with an online format that is brief and easy to use (self-scorable version available for the FIRO-B® instrument)
  • Supports the needs of multi-national businesses with scoring based on a sample of 2,801 adults in 10 languages
  • High level of reliability and validity



  • Team Development - promote positive and productive working relationships and develop healthy habits of collaboration based on interpersonal understanding and trust
  • Leadership Development and Executive Coaching - expand leaders’ understanding of their unique communication style and patterns of behaviour and how they can lead more effectively by meeting the interpersonal needs of direct reports, managers and peers
  • Organisational Development - help groups become more effective by understanding their interpersonal dynamics and addressing problems in communication and collaboration
  • Conflict Management - give clients insights and tools for avoiding, assessing and resolving conflict
  • Emotional Intelligence - from high-performing individuals to thriving multi-national businesses, help clients build success on the fundamental awareness that different people have different needs


Other Resources

Relationships & Conflict eBook

The Relationships & Conflict eBook deep dives into the essentials of personal and professional relationships and conflict management. It illustrates how tools such as the MBTI®, FIRO® and TKI® instruments can help us better understand and improve those relationships between colleagues, friends, managers and employees and families.

Please click here to download the eBook.


FIRO® Tip Sheet

FIRO Tip Sheet

Please click here to download the Tip Sheet.


Please note that translations are available for selected FIRO® products in the following languages:

Chinese - Simplified, Chinese - Traditional, Danish, Dutch (Netherlands), French, French (Canadian), German, Portuguese - Brazilian, Spanish (options available)

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