Background information on the topic "Transactional Analysis"

Transactional analysis is a communication technique developed by psychologist Eric Berne. The general image of man is an important factor for transactional analysis. Four basic attitudes are distinguished.

Optimal is the "I am o.k. - you are o.k." attitude. One has a positive image of oneself and of others. If one sees oneself as inferior, one is in the "I am not o.k. - you are o.k." attitude. Problematic is an "I am not o.k. - you are not o.k." attitude, in which one represents a decidedly negative world view. It is also possible to have an "I'm okay - you're not okay" attitude, in which one is dismissive of everyone except oneself. For open and constructive communication, it is important to internalize the "I'm o.k. - you're o.k." perspective.

In addition to these basic attitudes, communication is influenced by three states of consciousness. Thus, each person has an adult ego, a parent ego, and a childhood ego, each with different behaviors.

The parent ego embodies both a critical attitude, representing norms and commandments, and a supportive attitude, comforting and helping. The adult ego is analytical, nonjudgmental, and cooperative. It is best suited to resolve conflicts and makes reason-based decisions. The childhood ego has three expressions. It can be natural, expressed through spontaneous, creative, and impulsive behavior, but it can also be conformed, expressed through helplessness, timidity, and modesty. If one behaves in an uncompromising, stubborn and rebellious manner, the defiant child ego is at work.

Every expression can be assigned to an ego state. A distinction is made between the state from which one speaks and the state that is addressed. For example, one can address the childhood ego as the parent ego or the adult ego as the adult ego. If one answers in the addressed ego state, this is called a parallel transaction. It ensures an optimal conversation. If one answers from a different state than expected, an argument can quickly arise. This would then be a crossed transaction. If there are contradictory messages, this is called a covert transaction.

The goal of transactional analysis is to see through and improve communication by making people aware of their own and others' ego states. The application of transactional analysis leads to a more open and sensitive interaction with fellow human beings and improves communication.

Seminars on the topic of transactional analysis are offered by the Management-Institut Dr. Kitzmann as open events in the cities of Münster, Frankfurt/M. and Munich, among others.

Author: Management-Institut Dr. A. Kitzmann