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About the FIRO-B: Team Development – Need for Control


Most teams follow predictable patterns of development that are related to the FIRO-B.  In some cases, the need for Control is the first need to be addressed by the group.  As the team begins to form, there are typical questions and issues you might have to deal with.

In teams where the need for Control is being developed, common questions people might have include wanting to know how the group will stay on course to reach its goals.  Some will want to know how people will be held accountable for their actions or output.  Others will surely want to know what is expected of them, some in greater detail, others with less detail.  Still others will want to make sure there is consistency in how the group handles issues, solves problems, conducts meetings, produces a product or service, etc.  Finally, almost all groups want to know what they are expected to produce and the timeline for doing so.

Some ways you can deal with these questions when you find yourself as part of a new team include preparing an outline of the group’s goals and timelines.  Some form of tracking system to make sure progress is coming at an acceptable rate could also be useful.  You can ask all team members to state their expectations, then prepare a common list all can agree upon.  Similarly, you can try to establish group standards for work, reporting, meetings, output, etc.  One good discussion your group might have involves determining the best way the group can be effective, based on its goals and purpose.


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