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The FIRO-B and Team Roles: Clarifier, Director, and Encourager


The FIRO-B measures several aspects of interpersonal behavior. One common use for the FIRO-B is helping teams work together better. There is a correlation between your expressed scores and the role you're most likely to take in a team.

If your highest expressed score is Inclusion, you're most likely to take the role of Clarifier in a team. You're likely to make sure everyone gets involved in the discussion, you'll pull ideas together, summarize and clarify points, and find ways to have everyone participate. You'll help increase collaboration, see other points of view, make sure the workload is fairly distributed, and help the group take stock of the discussion. Possible disadvantages could include putting people on the spot, seeing common ground where none exists, trying to hold a team together that needs to break up, and striving for unreal fairness.

For those who score highest on expressed Control, the main team role will probably be the Director. These people keep track of tasks and time limits, suggest closure, direct action, and offer structure for decision making. They help keep the group moving along, and focused on the task at hand. Because they are often conscious of time and resources, they push others to reach decisions. On the other hand, these people can also cut off discussion too soon, put unnecessary pressure on others, get distracted by competition, and can push people beyond their skill levels.

Finally, if your highest expressed need is Affection, you're likely to take the role of Encourager. Encouragers mediate conflicts, promote intimacy and engagement, harmonize within the group, and often can identify areas of resistance. They help the group feel supported, encourage open and frank discussion, make sure feedback is given and received, and manage to keep things going when the going gets rough. Potential pitfalls might be getting trapped in trying to resolve internal team conflicts, wasting time trying to achieve consensus when it's not needed, and misplaced commitment and loyalty.

If all of your expressed needs scores fall in the low range, it's more likely you'll have no consistent role within the team. Since others are likely to have at least one high expressed need, you might appear to be a loner to the rest of the group. There are other roles you could assume within the team.


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