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Interpersonal Needs and Coaching Questions

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Openness (Near/Far)

• When are you most likely to express your own feelings, share your personal history and/or offer your reactions to group processes and achievements? What are the conditions operating in the group that make you willing to be open with other group members?
• When are you most likely to enjoy and encourage the sharing of feelings, personal histories and reactions to group processes and achievements by other members of a group? What are the conditions operating in the group that make you willing to be open to the sharing by other group members?
• When are you least likely to express your own feelings, share your personal history and/or offer your reactions to group processes and achievements? What are the conditions operating in the group that make you reticent or even unwilling  to be open with other group members?

Schutz’ Theory

Probably the most widely used tool for increasing interpersonal awareness during the 1960s-1990s was Will Schutz’ FIRO Theory. This theory of interpersonal behavior was developed by Will Schutz in 1960. He was attempting to explain interpersonal behavior consistent with psychodynamic theories. It was the culmination of his work at the Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, D.C., and subsequent work at Harvard University’s Social Relations Department. Schutz tends to focus on what you can see—behavior—rather than on what one might infer from what is being done or said.  Schutz believed that people behave differently in interpersonal situations than they behave when they are alone. He proposed a theory that describes behavior in these “interpersonal” situations and postulates that there are three fundamental interpersonal needs that strongly influences this interpersonal behavior:  Inclusion, Control, and Affection (later called Openness).

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