Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation

FIRO® is a comprehensive and widely-used theory of interpersonal relations created by Will Schutz, Ph.D. Introduced in 1958 in the book FIRO: A Three-Dimensional Theory of Interpersonal Behavior. Schutz originally devised the theory to measure and predict the interaction between people for the purpose of assembling highly productive teams. In the early 1980s when he was creating The Human Element, Schutz updated and expanded the theory and created the current FIRO instruments, called the Elements of Awareness.

Over the years, FIRO Instruments have been heavily researched and has proven to be:


Easy to use in helping individuals, teams, and organizations; easy to incorporate into training, consulting, and coaching.


For understanding human behavior and motivation in a wide variety of situations.


The three basic dimensions—inclusion, control, and openness—describe the dynamics of individuals, pairs, teams & organizations, eliminating the need for multiple models.

FIRO Instruments describe three levels of human interaction:

FIRO Elements of Awareness

The backbone of The Human Element® approach for organizational transformation

An integrated series of instruments designed to measure various aspects of human functioning and human relationships.

The Elements of Awareness are a series of psychometric instruments based on FIRO Theory. Each Element measures one aspect of a person or relationship. Together, these instruments comprise the backbone of the Human Element approach.

The original FIRO instrument, FIRO-B was created for research purposes. Later, during the development of The Human Element, Will Schutz revised and expanded FIRO Theory and created the successor instrument, called Element B: Behavior. In addition, he developed Element F: Feelings and Element S: Self-Concept based on the updated theory as well as a number of other FIRO-based instruments, all designed to be used for training purposes.

The purpose of all of the Elements of Awareness is to provide information for expanding self-awareness. Increased self-awareness improves understanding of why people behave in the way that they do, how they interact, and the relation between behavior and consequences in the work environment.

The Elements of Awareness are integrated into our Human Element programs and combined with a variety of experiential methods to form a holistic, transformational learning experience that leads to profound improvements in individual, team, and organizational performance and better business results.

Learn how Will Schutz transformed his groundbreaking research tool into our premier training tool.


Elements of Awareness:


Understand Personal Motivation
and Behavior

Element B: Behavior (originally FIRO-B)
Element F: Feelings (originally FIRO-F)
Element S: Self-Concept
Element J: Job Fit
Element E: Self-Esteem
Element E – Leader Version: Self-Esteem


Resolve Problems and
Improve Working Relationships

Element W: Work Relations
Element T: Openness (Truth)


Identify and Resolve
Organizational Issues

Element O: Organizational Climate