Element B v. FIRO B

What You Gain

Both the FIRO-B1 and Element B2 are based on the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation theory, known as FIRO® (pronounce f-eye-row) and developed by Will Schutz, Ph.D. Both are easy to administer. Each can be filled out and scored in about 20 minutes. Those of you who are familiar with the FIRO-B will have an easy time transferring your experience and knowledge to Element B, should you find the argument to experiment with it compelling.

The differences are profound. There are several.

  1. Element B focuses on the same behaviors as the FIRO-B with one exception. Will realized that affection was not a behavior but rather, a feeling associated with the behavior of Openness. Given that, he changed the scale name and the items to measure the behavior of Openness.
  2. Element B measures how I perceive my behavior in the present as well as what I would like my behavior to be in the future. It also measures how I perceive your behavior toward me in the present and how I would like it to be in the future. This is quite different than the FIRO-B which looks at my perception of how I behave currently juxtaposed with how I would like you to behave toward me. These gaps between how I perceive myself currently and how I want to behave in the future create the beginnings of an action plan. This shift in Element B is a major change and provides a benefit that makes Element B significantly more informative and useful.
  3. Because Element B includes what an individual wishes he/she would do but isn’t doing currently, this puts the participant’s brain on notice that something may change. It primes his/her brain for change simply by thinking about how you would like it to be. It creates a much clearer snap shot of where someone is in the moment while at the same time showing how that person hopes to evolve.

Element B measures the perception someone has of him/herself in relation to others in three behavioral dimensions of the FIRO theory. It also measures the perception someone has of others in relation to him/herself in the same dimensions. These dimensions are:

Inclusion: This dimension encompasses how much contact and interaction someone exhibits towards others and wants to exhibit toward others. It also looks at how much contact and interaction someone perceives that he/she receives from others and wants to receive from others.

Control: This dimension encompasses all the behaviors that relate to exerting influence, creating structure and process, organizing, decision making, and leading or following. In this dimension, we examine what each person perceives themselves as doing or exhibiting currently, and what he/she would like to do. Similarly, we look at what we perceive that we receive from others and what we would like to receive.

Openness: This dimension examines the depth of vulnerability of feelings and thoughts that are shared in an interaction. Each individual perceives what he/she is expressing in a relationship currently and what he/she would like to express. Similarly, the individual examines what his/her perceptions are about what is received from others currently and what is desired.

There are fewer reports available for Element B than FIRO-B, however, there are a couple that assist the participant and/or the coach in analyzing and utilizing the scores. There are consultants world-wide who are trained and certified to be Human Element Practitioners who have learned how to administer and support individuals and teams in interpreting their scores.

If you would like more information on Element B or support to understand and interpret Element B scores, please contact us. We will help or provide a referral.

To read Will Schutz's article about the evolution of FIRO-B to Element B, click here.

1: FIRO-B is a registered trademark of CPP.
2: Element B is a registered trademark of Business Consultants, Inc.

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith is the founder and president of Rewire Leadership Institute®. A master facilitator, consultant, teacher, and coach, she has created and facilitated personal growth, team development and organizational change seminars, coached executives and teams, facilitated strategic planning and high visibility meetings, and supported culture change for over four decades. Judith works with a diverse range of companies from government agencies, non-profit, Fortune Global 500, to small and mid-sized family owned businesses including such organizations as NASA, Seaflow, Total Oil, Restoration Hardware, San Antonio Water System, and Culver Company.

Superb at supporting individuals, pairs, and teams in developing the skills necessary to realize their full potential, Judith helps executives, managers, and staff gain the ability to respond flexibly and rapidly to their changing environment. Through extensive experience and research, she utilizes a number of different approaches including the FIRO theory, systems theory, cybernetics, neuroscience, cognitive, positive, and success psychology.

As one of the world’s leading experts on the FIRO theory, she trains consultants internationally. A consultant’s consultant, Judith mentors facilitators, coaches, therapists and other professionals in the integration of the FIRO theory in their work. From 1981 until 2004, she worked closely with Dr. Will Schutz, the creator of FIRO theory. Independently, Judith developed FIRO Theory Profiling, which has been lauded as the first innovation in the FIRO theory instruments aside from Dr. Schutz’ own developments. She continues to develop courses that synthesize her studies and experience and are based in FIRO theory.

Starting in her teenage years, Judith has been a pioneer in her passion for authenticity, clear communication, and positive change. She is lauded for her ability to see others’ potential and help them realize it—be they individuals, pairs, teams, or organizations. Judith’s zest for life, appreciation for others, and generosity of spirit inspires those with whom she works.

An honor’s student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Judith’s desire and passion to learn about authenticity motivated her to move her studies to The Institute for Creative and Artistic Development (ICAD) in Oakland, California. As the youngest student in their teacher training program, she created and graduated with an undergraduate degree that focused on authenticity through California State University, Sonoma. Continuing on her quest to study authenticity and creativity, Judith began taking courses at California State University, Hayward where she also created and graduated with a unique Master’s degree that focused on communication, transformation, and the creative arts.

Interested in systems and change, Judith began experimenting with her innovative action-oriented approach to assess and intervene with families, groups, and organizations. Through this work, she became a much sought-after instructor, training masters and doctoral students in her seminal work. As chair of a psychology program focused on Creative Arts Therapies at Antioch University, San Francisco, she developed curriculum and continued to serve as guest faculty and lecturer at universities nationwide.

In addition to leading Rewire Leadership, Judith and her husband, Daniel Ellenberg, co-founded Relationships That Work®, where she serves as Vice President. She and Daniel co-authored Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust, and True Partnership, which applies the principles of Rewire Leadership Institute® to romantic relationships. Recently, they co-authored a chapter in Mastering the Art of Success: Volume 8. With Matt White, Judith recently co-authored Leading with Courage.

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