Discover Your Personality

About the FIRO-B: Team Mismatches Part 1


A common occurrence in the workplace is learning how to interact effectively with those colleagues whose preferences are different from our own. As you know, teams can have a preponderance of people with common preferences. What happens when your preferences clash with the group's?

For example, if your lowest Wanted Need is Inclusion, but it's the team's highest Expressed Need, you might find yourself wanting to skip meetings, not paying attention to conversations, sitting away from others when possible, or trying to find a place to sit where you are not in full view of others. You might do other work during a meeting while appearing to be taking notes. Another common way people react to this scenario is to keep their heads down when others are speaking. These are all ways to distance oneself from others, particularly when it seems they are getting too close.

Consider the opposite scenario: suppose your highest Wanted Need is Inclusion, but the team is low on this Expressed Need. In this case, you might try sharing more information about what you know during meetings, or ask for more time to explain your position or what you've been considering. You might go around the room, asking each person to express his or her opinion so you know where everyone stands on an issue. You might sit in a central location during meetings, and try to stay completely involved in what's going on. It's possible you'll want to spend more time than the others on reviewing what has happened before so you can understand where the team is going next. Many people who are in this situation give the team a written proposal or commentary, as a way to demonstrate greater interest in participation.

With many mismatches, it depends on how important this need is for you. If your Expressed Need score is very low (0-2), you might not do any of the above. Likewise, if Inclusion is your lowest Wanted Need, you might tolerate a mismatch more than with your highest need.


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