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About the FIRO-B: Team Transitions IV


This time we'll examine some common scenarios involving change and the differences between positive and negative versions.

For example, teams can cease to exist at the end of a project. If this change is positive, team members will acknowledge the personal bonds that were established during the team's existence. Some of these relationships will continue on after the team dissolves. The team members will realize that everyone on the team needs to move on to new challenges and responsibilities. In the negative case, Expressed Affection is limited or non-existent, so the team dissolves abruptly. Team members can feel vulnerable, unwanted or misused. Since Expressed Affection is so low, the team members can resist letting go of the team, and avoid the final steps needed to conclude the team's work.

A second scenario involves a new team leader. In the positive case, the new leader will be allowed to establish his or her own way of leading the team. He or she will be informed about the previous team work, background, history, and accomplishments. The new leader will learn about the abilities and skills of the team members. He or she will be able to introduce changes that will be accepted by the rest of the team. In the negative case, the new leader will be ignored, or current team members will assume the new leader knows the entire team history and understands everything that has come before. Any changes the new leader introduces will be resisted, even small suggestions. The team might pressure the new person to be like the former leader.

In these scenarios, the knowledge gained from using the FIRO-B with the team can bring these issues to light, as well as suggesting possible ways to deal with changes in the team.


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