This is not about being hypocritical or walking the talk.

It’s about whether or not your expressed needs match your wanted needs. For example, do you exhibit one behavior but prefer a different approach to how others interact with you?

If you’re finding yourself disappointed in how others interact with you, it may be time to consider how you are portraying yourself.

To guide you, there’s the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO®) assessment. It’s designed to help you understand your interpersonal needs. Furthermore, it explores how you interact and express those needs with others. William Schutz, Ph.D., developed the instrument on the theory that beyond our survival needs – food, shelter, and warmth – we each have unique interpersonal needs that strongly motivate us.

There are two FIRO® assessments – the FIRO-B® assessment and the FIRO Business®. The shorter FIRO Business uses slightly different language designed with a business environment in mind.

They both examine expressed and wanted social needs:

  • FIRO-B: inclusion, control, and affection
  • FIRO Business: involvement, influence, and connection

And provide insights around how:

  • People tend to behave towards others
  • They want others to behave toward them

For example, let’s take the topic of inclusion or involvement.

This interpersonal need indicates how much you generally include other people in your life. It also shows how much attention, contact, and recognition you want from others. In essence, it’s all about you in relation to groups – small or large.

It raises points such as do you:

  • Prefer to include others in what you do
  • Want to belong
  • Need a little or a lot of recognition

Just as with our biological needs, we may become uncomfortable and anxious if our specific needs are not being met.

The FIRO illuminates what we express to others and what we expect in return. These insights can help you uncover better ways to interact with others, as well as manage expectations and desired interaction. You can build more trust, improve communication, manage stress, and resolve conflict in your relationships. It complements any learnings you or your teams may have uncovered in learning about your Type preferences through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) assessment.

By understanding your “expressed” versus “wanted” needs for yourself and your colleagues, you can alter your approach to make a healthier and safer working environment. This includes being open and flexing to support others’ needs while sharing your expectations, so others are clear on what’s important to you.