» The Parent-Adult-Child model: the basics
Transactional Analysis is one of the most accessible theories of modern psychology. If we are to change our Parent or Child we must do so through our adult. In order for the relationship to continue smoothly the agent or the respondent must rescue the situation with a .. This is not helpful for followers (or leaders). The heart of a lot of Berne's work is this idea of “adult/parent/child. . As with any psychological (or really any social sciences) theory, you can take a bunch of this stuff (I still try to hit deliverables, obviously, but relationships is the essence of everything.) We are really confused about what "leadership" is. 8 Steps to Navigate Difficult Conversations for Leaders and Managers Are you in 'Parent', 'Child' or 'Adult' Mode (or all 3!) at Work? in the 's the theory is that all human beings possess multi-faceted personalities and that Child pushing back and each becoming more polarised in the relationship.
Conversely we might use them negatively to reinforce the negative strokes we give to ourselves.
Of course, some just bounce off the umbrella and we might not accept the good strokes that are coming our way. Some might come in but fall straight onto the floor. Life positions Life positions are basic beliefs about self and others, which are used to justify decisions and behaviour.
When we are conceived we are hopefully at peace, waiting to emerge into the world once we have grown sufficiently to be able to survive in the outside of the womb. If nothing untoward happens we will emerge contented and relaxed.
However, perhaps our mother had some traumatic experiences, or the birth was difficult or even life threatening. This experience is likely to have an effect on the way we experience the world, even at the somatic level. In which case we might emerge sensing that life is scary and might, for example, go into "I am not OK and You are not OK either". Let's take it that the pregnancy went fine, and the birth was easy enough.
Well life experiences might reinforce our initial somatic level life position, or contradict it. This might be the only sense we can make of our experiences.
Let's take another situation. Perhaps we were picked on and bullied as a child. We learnt that the way to get by was to bully others and that way we felt stronger and in control.
Of course this may cover up our belief that we are really not OK, but nobody sees that. They just see our behaviour, and in fact we may have forgotten all about our negative feelings about ourselves as we have tried so hard to deny the pain of believing we are not OK. These life positions are perceptions of the world.
The reality is I just am and you just are, therefore how I view myself and others are just that "views" not fact. However, we tend to act as if they are a fact. Just like when somebody says "I can't do this, I'm useless". Rather than "I don't know how to do this. Will you show me?
Eric Berne: Transactional Analysis - jingle-bells.info
There are a number of ways of diagramming the life positions. Franklin Ernst drew the life positions in quadrants, which he called the OK Corral We have put these into red and green to show the effective and ineffective quadrants for communication and healthy relationships.
By shading in the quadrants according to the amount of time we think we spend in each we can get an idea of the amount of time we spend in each. Ernst used the term 'Corralogram' for this method of self-assessment using the OK Corral matrix. OK Corral - Ernst, Berne talked about the life positions as existential positions, one of which we are more likely to go to under stress.
This is significantly different to the concept Ernst uses, i. Whilst there is some truth in this we could agree with Berne that there will be one major position we go into under stress, with perhaps another position underneath this one.
These positions can change as we develop and grow. The difference between Berne and Ernst is important. Chris Davidson writes about the three dimensional model of Okayness. All of the previous diagrams talk as if there were only one other person in the equation, when in reality there are often more.
For example, the behaviour of young people in gangs may say that they believe they are okay and perhaps other gangs in their neighbourhood are okay, but an individual or gang from another neighbourhood are not okay. We often do this at work as well. We find other people who we like and then we gossip and put other people down. We are therefore saying that we believe we are okay but those others are awful underneath this there may be a belief that we are not okay either but we feel better by putting someone else down.
In this way the two dimensional model of okayness i.
There is also the way in which we view life itself. If we consider that there is something wrong with us, and that others are not to be trusted and are not OK either, then the world would be a scary place and we are likely to experience life as tough and believe we will only be all right if we keep alert and on the look out for danger and difficulties.
Commonly when emotions are triggered people adopt one of three attitudes relating to blame, which each correlate to a position on the Okay Corral: I'm to blame You are okay and I'm not okay - 'helpless' You are to blame I'm okay and you are not okay - 'angry' We are both to blame I'm not okay and you are not okay - 'hopeless' None of these is a healthy position.
On the plus side, the Child state also reflects a more light-hearted, free-spirited and spontaneous aspect of our behaviour.
These two, often conflicting ego states are kept in check by the Adult state, through which we are enabled to draw on our comprehension and analysis of our environment — both internal and external.
The Adult state has the capability of calling upon the resources of the other two states and achieving a balance between the two. The Adult state is open to here and now and is characterised by respect for the other person as an equal and an awareness of all life experience, as opposed to just the parent or child experience. All of us have the potential to behave from Parent Child or Adult ego state and even in one interaction, we might alternate between these states.
This in turn can evoke either form of the Child response — the Adaptive Child being submissive and apologetic accompanied by feelings of shame and low self-esteem; the Rebellious Child being resentful and defensive.
In the former, the Critical Parent-Adaptive Child interaction might seem to be effective but in the long run, does not allow the employee to develop their own Adult ego state.
In the latter, conflict will ensue, the Rebellious Child pushing back and each becoming more polarised in the relationship. Alternatively, the manager can approach the situation with an Adult ego state although this is certainly no guarantee the interaction will be plain sailing. We even do it with ourselves, in our internal conversations. Parent There are two forms of Parent we can play. The Nurturing Parent is caring and concerned and often may appear as a mother-figure though men can play it too.
They seek to keep the Child contented, offering a safe haven and unconditional love to calm the Child's troubles. The Controlling or Critical Parent, on the other hand, tries to make the Child do as the parent wants them to do, perhaps transferring values or beliefs or helping the Child to understand and live in society.
They may also have negative intent, using the Child as a whipping-boy or worse. Adult the Adult in us is the 'grown up' rational person who talks reasonably and assertively, neither trying to control nor reacting aggressively towards others. The Adult is comfortable with themself and is, for many of us, our 'ideal self'. Child There are three types of Child we can play. The Natural Child is largely un-self-aware and is characterized by the non-speech noises they make yahoo, whee, etc.
The Parent-Adult-Child model: the basics
They like playing and are open and vulnerable. The cutely-named Little Professor is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff often much to their Controlling Parent's annoyance.
Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child.