Transactional Analysis (TA) – helpful resources and some thoughts on communication games
Back in 2011 I was looking up to a Java Dev Team Leader for some professional advice and guidance when he told me more about his views on Transactional Analysis. I don’t think he was officially certified of schooled in the academic way for all this, but he had a vast amount of people experience, and a keen mind.
Transactional analysis has been around for a while and was mentioned and dealt with on a couple of occasions in my studies. Although I chose to do something else at first, I see how the transactional approach can help not just recruiters and managers, but also a lot of other roles, too.
If needed, you can find a short introduction to the principles and OK model (2011) here (from Business Balls).
Coming to the applications of TA in an organizational setting, I guess it can be quite easy to calculate all transactions on the basis of the three ego states – parent, adult and child. You can get a surprising amount of situations, or communication games, once you think about the variety of reasons each of us has when we shift through the more subtle aspects of a state. To elaborate, you may think that acknowledging a tense moment verbally would even emotions out, or at least suppress the affecting complex to a degree – but instead, the ego state would just shift gears and escalate further.
Handling situations according to a basic differentiation of complementary and crossed interactions, with “stroking” as a transition, could give you a basic outline of how interactions/games are being produced, but it will also do little to help you gain better understanding of what drives the process.
Looking at this, a little side step is needed. Introspection is a key skill when it comes to being aware of your surroundings and what you feel, but how do you give yourself time to figure it all out? Line managers usually tend to have one or two people in a team and they can bounce ideas off of them. Since not everyone is so lucky, maybe music or taking 10 minutes for a snack will do the job?
I think the things I do most often in order to have the process time for myself are cigarette breaks, tea breaks or just small talk and music. What works for you – let me know in the comments below!