Transactional analysis, commonly known
as TA to its adherents, is a model for
explaining why and how:
People think like they do
People act like they do
People interact/communicate with others
TA was developed by Canadian-born US
psychiatrist Eric Berne during the late
Everyone has three ego
states that are based on
and role model.
Each ego state is separate
and distinct source of
Set of feelings, thinking and behavior that
we have copied from our parents or parental
There are 2 types
1. Controlling or Critical
Not related to person’s
Oriented towards current
reality and the objective
gathering of information.
intelligent and tests
reality estimating probabilities.
All the impulses that
come naturally to an
How you responded to earlier
experiences and the positions
you took about others
Feelings of happiness, anxiety,
fear, withdrawal etc.
There are basically three
kinds of transactions:
Duplex/Covert (the most
A simple, reciprocal transaction occurs when
both partners are addressing the ego state
the other is in. These are also called
A: "Would you like to skip this meeting and
go watch a film with me instead?" (Child to
B: "I'd love to - I don't want to work
anymore, what should we go and see?"
(Child to Child)
Communication failures are typically caused
by a 'crossed transaction' where partners
address ego states other than that their
partner is in. Consider the above examples
jumbled up a bit.
A: "Have you been able to write that report?"
(Adult to Adult) B: "Will you stop hassling me?
I'll do it eventually!" (Child to Parent) This is
a crossed transaction likely to produce
problems in the workplace.
It is a state in which single person shows
more than one kind of ego state at the same
A: "I need you to stay late at the office with
me." (Adult words)
B: "Of course." (Adult response to Adult
statement), winking or grinning (Child
accepts the hidden motive).
Another concept in TA is that of strokes
which are only acts of recognition.
A stroke is a unit of recognition. Positive
strokes (compliments, praise) satisfy most.
Negative strokes (criticism, ridicule) are
more satisfying than no strokes at all.
Many workers have become recalcitrant
because they were ignored at work and got
no strokes at all. Many marriages are
threatened after a few years, because each
spouse takes the other for granted and
does not provide strokes.
A stroke is satisfying and is therefore a
reward. Like any other reward, strokes
also, if given indiscreetly, may misdirect.
One must not provide a positive stroke at
the time of an undesirable behaviour.
In TA theory, "Life Position" refers to the general feeling about life
(specifically, the unconscious feeling, as opposed to a conscious
philosophical position) that colours every dyadic (i.e. person-to-
person) transaction. Initially four such Life Positions were
1."I'm Not OK, You're OK" (I-U+)
2."I'm Not OK, You're Not OK" (I-U-)
3."I'm OK, You're Not OK" (I+U-)
4."I'm OK, You're OK" (I+U+)
However, lately, an Australian TA analyst has claimed that in order to
better represent the Life Position behind disorders that were not,
allegedly, as widespread and/or recognized at the time when TA was
conceptualized as they are now the list requires alteration. Also, two
additional Life Positions are proposed:
1."I'm not-OK, You're OK" (I-U+)
2."I'm not-OK, You're not-OK" (I-U-)
3."I'm not-OK, But You're Worse" (I-U--)
4."I'm not-OK, You're Irrelevant" (I-U?)
5."I'm a Bit More OK Than You Are" (I++U+)
6."I'm OK, You're OK" (I+U+)
7."I'm OK, You're Irrelevant" (I+U?)
The difference between one's own OK-ness and other's OK-ness
captured by description "I'm OK, You're not-OK" is proposed to be
substituted by description that more accurately captures one's own
feeling (not jumping to conclusions based only on one's perceived
behavior), therefore stating the difference in a new way: "I'm not-OK, but
You're worse" (I-,U--), instead.
Every time we speak, we choose and use one of four basic
communication styles: assertive, aggressive, passive and passive-
The most effective and healthiest form of communication is the
assertive style. It's how we naturally express ourselves when our
self-esteem is intact, giving us the confidence to communicate
without games and manipulation.
When we are being assertive, we work hard to create mutually
satisfying solutions. We communicate our needs clearly and
forthrightly. We care about the relationship and strive for a
win/win situation. We know our limits and refuse to be pushed
beyond them just because someone else wants or needs something
from us. Surprisingly, assertive is the style most people use least.
You choose and make decisions for you.
You are sensitive and caring with your honesty
You are direct
You are self-respecting, self expressive and straight forward.
You convert win-lose situations to win-win ones.
You are willing to compromise and negotiate.
You feel confident, self-respecting, goal-oriented, valued. Later
you may feel a sense of accomplishment.
Others feel valued and respected.
Others view you with respect, trust and understand where you
The outcome is determined by above-board negotiation. Your rights and others
Your underlying belief is that you have a responsibility to protect your
own rights. You respect others but not necessarily their behaviour.
Aggressive communication is a style in which individuals
express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their
needs in a way that violates the rights of others. It is a
method of expressing needs and desires that do not take in
to account the welfare of others. Those who communicate in
an aggressive manner are generally perceived as selfish and
unwilling to compromise.
In agressive communication we simply want our needs met -
and right now!
choose and make decisions for others.
direct and forceful
try to dominate others
use humiliation to control others
You demand your own way.
You feel righteous, superior, controlling
be very impulsive
have low frustration tolerance
speak in a loud, demanding, and overbearing voice
act threateningly and rudely
not listen well
Others feel humiliated, defensive, resentful and hurt around
Passive communication is based on compliance and hopes to
avoid confrontation at all costs. In this mode we don't talk
much, question even less, and actually do very little. We just
don't want to rock the boat. Passives have learned that it is
safer not to react and better to disappear than to stand up
and be noticed.
You allow others to choose and make decisions for you.
You are emotionally dishonest
You are indirect and self denying.
You are inhibited.
If you get your own way, it is by chance
You feel anxious, ignored, helpless, manipulated, angry at yourself
Others feel guilty or superior and frustrated with you.
Others view you in the exchange as a pushover and that you don’t
know what you want or how you stand on an issue.
The outcome is that others achieve their goals at your expense.
Your rights are violated.
Your underlying belief is that you should never make someone
uncomfortable or displeased except yourself
A combination of styles, passive-aggressive avoids direct
confrontation (passive), but attempts to get even through
manipulation (aggressive). If you've ever thought about
making that certain someone who needs to be "taught a thing
or two" suffer (even just a teeny bit), you've stepped pretty
close to (if not on into) the devious and sneaky world of the
passive-aggressive. This style of communication often leads
to office politics and rumour-mongering.
Passive Aggressive Communication
You allow others to choose and make decisions for you.
You appear honest but underlying comments confuse.
You tend towards indirectness with the air of being direct.
You are self-enhancing but not straight forward about it.
In win-lose situations you will make the opponent look bad or
manipulate it so you win
If you don’t get your way you’ll make snide comments or pout
and be the victim.
You feel confused, unclear on how to feel, you’re angry but not
sure why. Later you possibly feel guilty.
Others feel confused, frustrated, not sure who you are or what
you stand for or what to expect next.
Others view you in the exchange as someone they need to protect
themselves from and fear being manipulated and controlled.
AN ONGOING SERIES OF COMPLIMENTARY ULTERIOR
TRANSACTIONS PROGRESSING TO A WELL DEFINED
CHARACTERISTICS OF GAMES
PREDICTABLE & ULTERIOR
LEARNT BEHAVIOURS - ACQUIRED IN CHILDHOOD
PLAYERS INTUITIVELY SEEK OUT PARTNERS
SOMEBODY IS PUT DOWN & BOTH PARTIES END UP WITH A BAD
Why game analysis ?
IT PROVIDES US WITH STROKES WE NEED
THEY ARE DEFENCES TO PROTECT PEOPLE
HELP US REINFORCE LIFE POSITIONS
How to stop ?
REFRAIN FROM GIVING OTHERS NEGATIVE PAY OFF
LEARN TO CONFRONT THE GAME
ACTIVATE THE ADULT
There are many different types of Communication
but they can be classified into four basic types of
Types of Communication Based on Communication
Types of Communication Based on Style and Purpose
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATIONS
Some of the barriers to effective communication are
1. Organizational Barriers.
The classical organization structure with a scalar chain of
command restrict free and frequent communication.
Too many levels intervene causing delay in transmission and
distortion in the message.
When the message has to pass through several hands of causing
the filtering communication.
Successive transmissions of the same message are
2. Status Barrier.
Since every organization has some kind of status system,
persons of lower status do not feel free to talk superiors.
They pass on only what superior would like to hear and hold
back unpleasant facts.
Semantic is the study of meaning of words and symbols.
Words and symbols used to communicate facts and feelings may mean
different things to different people.
Badly expressed messages ,faulty translations, unclarified assumptions
add to the barriers.
4. Inattention barrier.
An inattentive receiver does not pay complete attention to the
message, making it ineffective.
A person may be inattentive when he consider the message as
superficial or uninteresting.
He may be pre-occupied with other more important matters.
5. Perceptual Barriers.
Perception means the mental and sensory process used by an individual
to interpret the received information.
As every individual has specific areas of interest he may hear, read or
see only that part of the message which is valuable to him
People see what they want to see and consider it a reality.
Perception leads to filtering of message unconsciously.
6. Information Overload.
Managers are flooded with information from various sources.
They may not always be able to regulate the flow of information.
Effectiveness of communication is reduced when managers allow
themselves to be in undaunted with information.
They may ignore or misinterpret some of the message.
Time pressure may also create communication problems.
7. Premature Evaluation.
Communication is hampered when the receiver evaluates the message
before getting the complete information.
In such case he does not have an open mind.
He may not be receptive to new ideas.
He jumps to conclusions without logical deductions from the objective
8. Channel Distortions.
Many people talking simultaneously, inaudible telephone lines,
electronic disturbances, wrong transcriptions in telex messages ,
noise are some of the examples of channel distortions.
MEASURES FOR OVERCOMING BARRIERS.
1. Clarity of Idea.
Clarity of thought is the first essential of good communication.
The message must be perfectly clear and free from all ambiguity.
The language used must be simple and precise which receiver can
Incomplete message create misunderstanding and delays action.
Every individual should be provided with required information for
proper discharge of his duties
All communications should be brief.
The flow of information should be regulated to avoid misunderstanding.
The message should reach the receiver at the right time.
Message sent in improper time is useless.
The media used should be proper.
In order to communicate effectively, the communicator must
understand the intelligence level and back ground of the receiver.
He must know what information the receiver exactly needs and in what
Messages sent must be consistent with the objectives, policies and
programs of the organization.
Actions speaks louder than words.
The actions and behavior of the sender must also support his
Communication is a two way process.
There should be follow up actions to ensure that the message is rightly
All efforts should be made to ensure feedback.
Feedback enables the communicator to know whether the receiver has properly
understood the message,
Careful listening is essential for effective communication.
Communicator should try to secure the undivided attention of the communicate.
He should convey the message in such a way that the emotions and sentiments
of the receiver are not hurt.
Empathetic listening and open mind are necessary for this purpose.
9. Strategic use of Grapevine.
A manager should make use of the grapevine to supplement the formal channels
For this purpose he must understand the informal communication networks and
should make their intelligent use to fill up the gaps in formal communication