This time we'll examine some common scenarios involving change and the differences between positive and negative versions.
A common example is adding a new team member. In the good scenario, the new member will be given a thorough history of team's progress to date, as well as a clear understanding of the group's purpose. The new team member will understand why he or she was brought in to the team. Clear expectations of the new person's contributions will help him or her fit in smoothly. Likewise, the other team members will be open and forthright, sharing information freely with the new person. In the negative scenario, the new person will be met with the assumption that he or she already knows everything the current team knows. Sensitive information will not be shared, and the new person will get a sense that the group mistrusts him or her. Questions or issues the new member brings up will be dismissed as unimportant, or "we've already covered that." Any new suggestions that might overturn past decisions will be ignored.
Another common situation is when the group's purpose or focus must change. In the positive case, the upcoming change will be carefully considered and not immediately dismissed. Everyone will be clear on the need for change and will understand the impact it will have on the group. If needed, the group will add or drop members to conform to the new focus. In the negative case, changes will be dismissed as minor, so adjustments will be cosmetic or non-existent. Few group members will understand what is changing or why it's necessary. They might continue on as if everything was in the status quo. They might refuse to accept the new purpose and can leave the team altogether.
In these scenarios, the knowledge gained from using the FIRO-B with the team can bring these issues to light, as well as suggesting possible ways to deal with changes in the team.