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About the FIRO-B: Team Conflict III


One of the many uses of the FIRO-B is to help teams work together better. Conflict is unavoidable whenever people come together, particularly in a work environment. This time we'll look at several common types of conflict and which FIRO-B results likely indicate this could be happening to your team.

First, let's look at the scenario where team members are defensive when receiving feedback from outside sources. This can happen in groups with high levels of Expressed Inclusion and low scores on Wanted Inclusion. Sometimes this is called "bunker mentality." It's us against those outside of our group. It's quite similar to groupthink, which can plague groups of highly similar individuals. In this case, the group members reinforce already formulated opinions rather than considering outside information or perspectives.

Another common occurrence in groups is holding meetings for which some members do nothing to prepare and refuse to participate in the small tasks needed to move forward. For some people, the team tasks appear too irrelevant, so they have no interest in helping the group or assuming responsibility. This can happen when the group's goals and actions seem too distant from the daily work or priorities of the organization. You'll often see this in groups with high scores on Total Inclusion Needs and low scores on Wanted Control.

Lastly, you might work in a group that seems to accomplish little except in meetings. The purpose of the meeting appears to be doing the work rather than reporting on or coordinating future efforts. Groups who score high on Total Inclusion Needs and low scores on Expressed Control are most likely to exhibit this pattern. In such groups, the purpose for the team working together gets lost in the need to have meetings and do work during them. This system is rarely very effective. It takes a great deal of time and effort with few results.

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