Interpersonal Behavior

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Hayalynn
Words 1331
Pages 6

* Condensed and adapted from W. C. Schutz: “Interpersonal Underworld”, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1958.

In order to deal with interpersonal behavior it is necessary to have an understanding of the general principles of interpersonal behavior, since formulas for handling specific situations are of limited value at best. The following theory is by no means the only one extent in psychological literature, but it is offered as a possible framework for understanding interpersonal problems.


The basis for evolving this theory of interpersonal behavior is the individual’s fundamental interpersonal relations orientation or, to abbreviate, FIRO. The basic assumption of this approach is that people need people. Every human being, because he lives in a society, must establish an equilibrium between himself and his human environment just as he must establish an equilibrium between himself and the physical world. This social nature of man gives rise to certain interpersonal needs, which he must satisfy to some degree while avoiding threat to himself. Although each individual has different intensities of needs and different mechanisms for handling them, people have the same basic needs.

People have three basic interpersonal needs in common:

The Need for Inclusion

This is the need to maintain a satisfactory relation between the self and other people with respect to interaction or belonging-ness. Some people like to be with other people all the time; they want to belong to organizations, to interact, to mingle. Other people seek much less contact; they prefer to be alone, to interact minimally to stay out of groups, to maintain privacy.

If a continuum were to be drawn between these two extremes, every person could be placed at a point (or region) at which he feels most comfortable. Thus to a certain…...

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