Transactional analysis, a theory that combines elements of psychology into a therapeutic approach, can benefit a workplace. In an organization, people need better communication to break down barriers between managers and employees and between competing departments. Using transactional analysis to develop communication among workers helps the organization become more focused and higher-achieving.
Transactional Analysis is first and foremost a therapeutic tool for positive change and growth. It can be used either in therapy for the individual concerned or on a more surface level for problem solving in everyday life.
TA is basically the study of how people take on certain behaviors, either by accident or from their early caretakers or authority figures and then continue to play them out in their adult lives. It is a model for people to use to work towards ‘autonomy’, a place from where they can choose to live the way they want to and not to be still acting as if they are controlled by past events or messages.
Transactional Analysis then is a modern psychotherapy model, which has; it’s own particular language and theory of personality. It states that the person transacts with a person in certain ways, structures their time between life and death in a particular way, plays their own particular games and lives out their own unique script.
An understanding of Transactional Analysis can give hope for the person in that they can change their script and choose the way they want to re-write their own life plan, without hanging on to inappropriate behaviors of the past.
The creator of Transactional Analysis Was Eric Berne, a Psychiatrist and a man who was largely influenced by Freud, though by the time of his death in 1970,he had become a, in some ways, a critic of Freud. Transactional Analysis though does have its roots in Psycho dynamic theory.
The transactional analysis approach cannot work unless there is a contractual relationship involving different parties. An organization arranges training and therefore becomes a party in a contractual relationship with employees and trainers. Employees can participate in transactional analysis to learn more about themselves and increase their autonomy. As parties to such a transaction, employees will have rights and responsibilities that they accept in the beginning of the training process.
Transactional analysis rests on analyzing interactions between at least two people. People will interact using one of the three ego states. The Child ego state acts according to emotions, such as fear and anxiety. The Adult ego state describes rational thought processes including problem-solving. The Parent ego includes rules learned about society and life in the early part of life; a person accepts rules without question.
Use in Organizations
A trainers can use transactional analysis to help participants understand how we communicate in dysfunctional patterns such as from a Parent or Child ego state instead of an Adult ego state. When people become more aware, they can communicate more openly at work. This awareness on the part of many individuals promotes functional communication and eradication of dysfunctional behavior patterns. Following transactional analysis, professionals can work together to identify organizational needs and problem-solving methods.