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About the FIRO-B: Team Conflict IV


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 issue we'll look at several common types of conflict and which FIRO-B results likely indicate this could be happening to your team.

Consider the scenario where some members of your team are relying on others to determine the team's direction. Other times the team can be unclear about its own authority or independence. This dependency results in the team waiting for the leader(s) to give the team orders on what to accomplish and when. Usually, the team waits for instructions from those higher up in the organization. This situation is most likely to occur in teams with high levels of Wanted Control, and generally higher wanted than expressed Needs.

A related difficulty can arise when teams cannot take action or reach a decision. Indecisiveness takes hold, and the team can appear to rehash the same old material time and again without any new ideas or action. The team is unable to come to a conclusion about the work at hand. Frequently, the group is torn between doing something and the "right" thing. Fear can spread among the group members that they are going to make a mistake, so they get bogged down in trying to prevent one. This problem is most likely in groups with low levels of Expressed Control and low overall expressed needs.

Finally, there are those groups in which action is the keyword. The pace is fast and furious, resulting in worn out or tired team members. The group can begin to disagree about what to do next. This is like the old military joke of "making good time marching in the wrong direction." Activity seems to be more important than strategy or results. You're most likely to find this pattern in groups with high levels of expressed needs versus wanted needs.

As before, each group will look different. Even those with these score patterns might not fall into these behaviors. Be aware of the potential for your team to do so and you're less likely to experience these scenarios.

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