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3 Basics of Transactional Analysis

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF


Basics of




Eric Berne, founder of transactional analysis (TA), made complex interpersonal transactions understandable. TA offers a concept explaining how our present life patterns originated in childhood and develops explanations of how we may continue to replay childhood strategies in adult life, even when these produce results that are self-defeating or painful.

TA is used in educational settings to help teachers and learners stay in clear communication and avoid setting up unproductive confrontation, in management and communications training, in organizational analysis, and by social workers, police, and religious clergy. In fact, TA can be used in any field in which there is a need for understanding individuals, relationships, and communication.

The Central Concepts of TA

The central concepts of TA are as follows:

1. The ego state models. An ego state is a set of related behaviors, thoughts, and feelings—a way in which we manifest a part of our personality at a given time. Transactional analysis portrays three ego states: Adult (behaving, thinking, and feeling in response to what is going on in the here and now), Parent (behaving, thinking, and feeling in ways that reflect one of your parents or other parent figures), and

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15 Empowering Others

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





Empowerment is a little like delegation—responsibility and power that managers grant employees. The reality today is that many front-line employees already have a great deal of power. The key is to recognize their power and motivate them to channel it in the interests of the business. For example:

◆ Employees who serve both internal and external customers and suppliers, and whose innovations are crucial, have the power to make or break your business. You cannot empower them; you just need to acknowledge how important and powerful they already are.

◆ Employees are now recognized as those who carry out the most critical jobs, and managers are increasingly seen as facilitators or coaches who simply need to stand back and let their people do their jobs.

Nevertheless, it is difficult for people to fully exploit their power because managers still have the power to promote or fire them. Both sides have their own sort of power and, today, the balance is more equal than it used to be.

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4 Building Positive Work Relationships

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF



Positive Work



Guidelines for building positive work relationships include the following:

◆ Be tolerant of others’ weaknesses.

◆ Be tolerant of your own weaknesses. Don’t be self-critical in front of another person, because, after a while, both of you will believe it.

◆ Be a good listener.

◆ Remember that physical warmth bonds people together. Try touching, a wink, eye-to-eye contact, a smile.

◆ Don’t expect closeness through inappropriate behavior. Pouting, withdrawing, or being curt, negative, and whiney seldom draw people closer.

Own up to your emotions and feelings and express them in an open, honest, clear, and direct way.

◆ Learn to give and accept praise. Compliment people on their character, not on their appearance. If you don’t accept praise, people will eventually stop giving it.

◆ If you need to scream at someone, do it at the right person. Don’t take it out on your spouse, children, or yourself.

◆ Learn to say “no” to yourself and others when, after objective selfassessment, it seems the appropriate thing to do. Rescuers and do-gooders are often resentful because they expect, but receive, little in return.

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41 Speaking Skills

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF





When speaking to groups of people, the rule of thumb is, if you don’t have their attention in the first 30 seconds, you never will. Listed below are some guidelines for effective public speaking:

◆ Let your uniqueness and individuality come through when you speak.

◆ Make yourself interesting to others.

◆ Create your own interesting soundbites of wisdom so that your audience quote you.

◆ Mention your own name in your stories to help your audience remember who you are.

◆ Make sure that you know exactly who is going to be in the audience, why they are there, and why they invited you to speak.

◆ Check the setting. Check the microphone, lighting, audiovisual equipment, and any other factors that might affect your performance.

◆ Meet the audience members as they arrive; this is an excellent way to build rapport with a captive audience.

◆ Start with a bang. The first 30 seconds have the most impact. Don’t waste these precious seconds; begin with a startling statement, quote, or story.

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20 Increasing Your Power at Meetings

Laurel, Alexander HRD Press, Inc. PDF



Your Power at Meetings


Holding Meetings

Any meeting gives you a great opportunity to increase your visibility as a powerful and knowledgeable communicator. Reasons for having meetings are to:

Share information

Get members’ views and proposals

Discuss what the group needs to be doing

Carry out legal business

Develop networks

Exchange ideas and experience

Review whether a decision in action is working

Decide on a proposal

Discuss a decision made elsewhere

Develop teamwork

Support a team


There are also several types of meetings:

◆ Informative/advisory: to give and receive information; to keep in touch; to coordinate activities; to record progress toward goals

◆ Consultative: to resolve differences; to involve people; to get to know people

◆ Problem solving: to create ideas; to identify alternative action; to initiate action

◆ Decision making: to generate commitment; to make decisions; to share responsibilities; to initiate action

◆ Negotiating: to create an agreement; to find a solution

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