The New Johari Window #23: Quadrant Two: Interpersonal Needs
Challenge One: Moving Needs into Q1
How do we make our needs known? How do we place them in the public sector (Q1)? Many strategies are now being employed. I will identify four, beginning with the one that has been mostly commonly used over the past forty years and that served as a foundation for Joe Luft’s work. This first strategy is the unsystematic exploration and discussion of interpersonal needs. Luft and many other trainers and educators (including myself) have engaged this strategy through conducting T (Training) Groups, Encounter Groups and other related small group exercises. By setting up a training group with minimal structure, no explicit task (other than exploration of personal and interpersonal dynamics), and facilitative (rather than directing) leadership, one can provide rich opportunity for the identification and exploration of interpersonal needs by all participants.
To the extent that presence and magnitude of interpersonal needs are specific to certain interpersonal circumstances, these training groups can be constituted of people who work together on a regular basis. So-called “team-building” exercises can be quite powerful with regard to not only improvement of group functioning, but also the appropriate and appreciated movement of interpersonal needs into Quad One. In recent years, organizational coaching has become another powerful vehicle for the identification of interpersonal needs and for the exploration of ways in which these needs are manifest by and influence the behavior and decisions being made by those men and women who are being coached.
A second strategy concerns the systematic exploration and discussion of interpersonal needs through the use of questionnaires and surveys. The most widely-used of these interpersonal needs surveys was developed by Will Schutz himself. This is the FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation-Behavior). This awkwardly titled survey provides the respondent with ratings of magnitude for all three of Schutz’s needs: inclusion, control and openness.
In addition, it provides sub-scores for both expressed (proactive) and wanted (reactive) manifestations of these three needs. Expressed needs are those that the respondent actively seeks to fulfill, whereas the wanted needs are those that the respondent hopes that other people will help him fulfill. Schutz developed a second set of instruments, called “Element-B,” which offer a more complex set of analyses concerning these three needs. (reference)