Firo-B is a tool developed by William Schultz in 1958, and is a theory of interpersonal relations. The instrument gives valuable insights into the needs individuals bring to their relationships with other people. Firo-B gives insight into how people behave towards others and how they expect others to behave with them. It is an ideal tool for anyone wanting to improve relationships with other people, whether just one person or a whole group of people. Using a simple model of interpersonal relationship styles, the FIRO-B tool can reveal hidden mismatches between wanted and expressed behaviour, offering profound insights that touch at the heart of an individual's sense of who they are.

The theory is based on the belief that when people interact in a group setting there they have three main interpersonal needs. These categories measure how much interaction a person wants in the areas of socializing, leadership and responsibilities, and more intimate personal relations. FIRO-B was created, based on this theory, a measurement instrument with scales that assess the behavioural aspects of the three dimensions.







I make an effort to include others in my activities. I try to belong, to join social groups and be with people as much as possible.

I try to exert control and influence over things. I enjoy organising and directing others.

I make an effort to get close to people. I am comfortable expressing personal feelings and I try to be supportive to others.




I want other people to invite me to belong. I enjoy it when others notice me.

I feel most comfortable working in well-defined situations. I try to get clear expectations and instructions.

I want others to act warmly towards me. I enjoy it when people share their feelings with me and when they encourage my efforts.


Application of Firo-B

This tool is used for the following applications:

  • Helps people build more positive and productive working relationships
  • Helps individuals become more aware and flexible in their style of relating to others
  • Aids team-building
  • Assesses interpersonal style on three levels – Inclusion, Control and Affection.

Team building and development

  • Identifying likely sources of compatibility or tension
  • Identifying leadership style
  • Aiding effective decision-making
  • Improving communication, openness and trust
  • Conflict resolution

Individual development

  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Increasing interpersonal effectiveness
  • Career development
  • Personal growth

Relationship counselling

Identifying and resolving possible sources of incompatibility and dissatisfaction

Firo-B in conjunction with MBTI

Since FIRO-B uses completely different scales from MBTI, and was not designed to measure inborn "types," it is often used together with the MBTI by workplaces.

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