FAQs

What is The Human Element?

The Human Element is a program for addressing and resolving human issues in the workplace. It provides efficient and transformative change for your organization, leading to greater accomplishment of goals and better individual, team, and organizational performance. By increasing openness and honesty and reducing unproductive defensive behavior, The Human Element creates cultures of openness, trust, accountability, innovation, and engagement.

What are the goals of The Human Element?

The overall aims of the Human Element are to:

  1. Maximize individual potential
  2. Maximize team potential
  3. Maximize organizational potential
How does it relate to business?

Most businesses focus their energy and resources on strategy, tasks, and processes, looking for ways to do things better, faster and more efficiently. Often missing however is focus and energy on the human change needed to support these technical areas. The Human Element helps remove the obstacles within your organization, both apparent and hidden, that can sabotage any strategy or process.

How can I use The Human Element in my organization?

The Human Element can be used for a variety of organizational solutions. It is applicable to any organizational process where human interaction affects the outcome, including team performance, leadership, quality improvement, revenue generation, safety, innovation, customer service, change management, collaboration, management skills, and career development.

Specifically, how will I benefit?

What do you do in a Human Element program?

Learn and practice. People learn the most when engaged in activities that move learning from the cognitive realm to an experiential one. The Human Element provides opportunities to learn practical skills through a variety of exercises and then provide ample opportunity for you to practice these new skills and receive immediate feedback. You learn how to use specific techniques and tools that can be applied immediately upon return to the workplace.

Specifically, we use lecture, verbal and non-verbal activities, visualization, group feedback, and FIRO-based psychometric instruments that quantify behavior, team compatibility, and self-concept. These provide powerful means for immediately implementing lasting changes both on a personal and organizational level.

How is The Human Element delivered?

Most often, the process begins with The Human Element program followed by consulting, coaching, and follow up training. It can also be customized or integrated into larger organizational development programs.

Is The Human Element an approach to increasing Emotional Intelligence?

Yes, and more. The Human Element helps people become aware of their own behavior (like EQ), but goes deeper to address the root causes—the feelings underlying behavior—and provides means for dissolving emotional blocks. This often results in greater emotional intelligence.

Is The Human Element an approach to improving Social Intelligence?

Yes, and more. The Human Element provides a safe venue for people to build skills in managing their own reactions, reducing defensiveness, handling difficult conversations, resolving conflict, and making group decisions. In addition, The Human Element helps people gain more personal focus, energy, and clarity.

Should I bring my team through this process? Should we do it at the same time?

Yes, if you are interested in strengthening your team’s productivity and improving the relationships and trust among team members. The methodology that drives The Human Element courses originated in building compatible teams in the U.S. Navy and has been used in a wide variety of organizations since then.

Is there a shorter version?

No. Because The Human Element is highly experiential, it cannot be shortened effectively. However, the return on investment for the time has proven to be well worth it. See our case studies for examples.

We do have several shorter programs ranging from ½ to 3 days that cover portions of the whole approach. These can serve as introductions to The Human Element for those who are not ready to engage in the full process.

In addition, we can customize The Human Element program for your organization to fit your schedule.

Is this a “touchy-feely” program?

We do encourage you to get in touch with your feelings because behaviors are driven by feelings and if you want to change behavior, you have to understand what drives it. If you want to improve relationships with others, it is helpful to understand what impact your behavior has on others.

What if I don’t want to do something during the program?

You are invited to participate and will not be forced to do anything. In fact, one of the core concepts of The Human Element is choice, and you will have the opportunity to practice making deliberate choices throughout the program

Where do the programs take place? What are the hours?

The Human Element program schedule is:

Day 1: 9am-6pm
Day 2: 9am-9pm (with dinner break)
Day 3: 9am-9pm (with dinner break)
Day 4: 9am-9pm (with dinner break)
Day 5: 9am-5pm

The Licensed Human Element Practitioner program schedule is:

Day 1-5:9:00am to 7:00pm plus evening session from 8:30pm until approximately 10:00pm.
Day 6:9:00am to 7:00pm
Day 7:off
Day 8-11:9:00am to 7:00pm plus evening session from 8:30pm until approximately 10:00pm.
Day 12:9:00am to 5:00pm

What makes The Human Element different from other approaches?

  1. It addresses issues at multiple levels—individual, team, and organization—using a single simple model, FIRO theory.
  2. It works at emotional depth. Working at the emotional level creates lasting behavioral change.
  3. The methodology blends scientific and experiential learning methods to create change holistically—through the conscious mind using FIRO-based assessments, the unconscious mind using visualization and non-verbal methods, and the interpersonal, through honest feedback. This leads to deep, long lasting changes in behavior, far more than approaches using behavioral or cognitive approaches alone.
  4. It is scientifically based. FIRO theory is one of the most widely used theories for training.
  5. Flexibility. The Human Element can be customized to fit your organization’s particular issues and circumstances.
Is The Human Element coaching?

Coaching is often used in conjunction with The Human Element program. Coaching, using Human Element principles, is usually used to continue practicing the learnings from The Human Element program and make them permanent. The Human Element program itself takes place in groups.


What is FIRO?

FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) is a theory of interpersonal relations developed by Will Schutz, Ph.D.

What is Element B? How is it related to The Human Element?

Element B: Behavior is a FIRO-based psychometric assessment tool that measures preferences for interpersonal behavior in the areas of Inclusion, Control, and Openness.

What is FIRO-B? How is it related to The Human Element?

FIRO-B is the original version of Element B, created as a research tool for the U.S. Navy.

How is Element B related to FIRO-B?

The original version of the instrument was called FIRO-B. It was created for research purposes in the U.S. Navy. Years of experience with the instrument led Schutz to recognize how the theory and the instrument could be improved and used in a much greater variety of ways. In addition, Schutz had never provided any interpretive material because the instrument was created only for research and the interpretations that were created by others did not reflect his philosophy and interpretation.

In the early 1980s, he revised and expanded both FIRO theory and the instrument to improve theoretical underpinnings and to optimize the instrument for training purposes (see Evolution of FIRO-B to Element B). The changes included updating the original dimension of Affection to Openness, expanding the amount of information provided, and adding the concept of Difference scores—a measure of satisfaction.

What do the Elements of Awareness measure?

Element B: Behavior measures preferences for interpersonal behavior in the areas of Inclusion, Control, and Openness.

Element F: Feelings measures preferences in the areas of Significance, Competence, and Likability in relationships.

Element S: Self-Concept measures self-concept in three areas of behavior (aliveness, self-determination, self-awareness) and three areas of feelings (self-significance, self-competence, self-like).

Element E: Self-Esteem helps to uncover areas that contribute to low self-esteem and to explore the payoffs for low self-esteem. It reveals where blocks are, suggests how to remove them, and provides ideas for increasing self-esteem.

Element W: Work Relations provides a non-threatening framework for assessing and improving two-person work relationships, especially useful for long-term relationships between two people who share common goals. It measures satisfaction in the relationship in the areas of inclusion, control, openness, significance, competence, and likability.

Element T: Openness (Truth) provides a structure, using progressively deeper levels of truth and openness, for an individual to explore a particularly difficult relationship.

Element O: Organizational Climate provides measures of satisfaction within an organization in the areas of inclusion, control, openness, significance, competence, and likability. Each measure is provided for the organization as a whole, and for teams, relationships, and individuals. The instrument can also be used to evaluate the effects of any organizational change.

Does Element B measure my type? Does it measure fixed traits?

No, Element B measures your preferences for behavior with other people. There are no good or bad or right or wrong results. Your preferences can and may change over time.

Can Element B be used for selection?

No, Element B should in no case be used to hire or fire people.

Where can I get psychometric information on Element B?

Beyond FIRO-B—Three New Theory-Derived Measures—Element B: Behavior, Element F: Feelings: Element S: Self.

Is this like the MBTI, DiSC, Insights, Six-Sigma, or ISO 9000?

No. The Human Element is an experiential process that is built around psychometric instruments.

MBTI, DiSC, and Insights are instruments only, without any specific, experiential methodology or tools for creating change.

Six-Sigma and ISO 9000 are processes and sets of standards for improving quality. They do not address the human factors.


Who delivers The Human Element?

The Human Element is delivered by Licensed Human Element Practitioners.

Can I become qualified to deliver The Human Element?

Yes, we offer practitioner training…

Who was Will Schutz, Ph.D.?

Will Schutz created The Human Element, FIRO theory, and the FIRO-based Elements of Awareness instruments series.

When was The Human Element created?

The Human Element was created in 1980 and has been used continuously since then.