Scrum Agile Project Management

Improving Communication through Transactional Analysis

An important part of agile leadership is improving communication between people. M. Spayd and M. Hamman are talking about shifting from directive – “managing for results” leadership style to catalysing – “designing environments that create results” style. Lyssa Adkins recommends avoiding asking ”Why don’t you…?” questions when coaching, as being too offensive. Clean language methodology promotes better clarity of communication. All mentioned recommendations are excellent but they require changes in behavioural patterns, which is not easy to achieve. Additionally, they do not give complete answers on the following: how to discover dysfunctional behavioural patterns, why we are ending up in them in the first place and how to manage to avoid them?

I have found answers on these questions in Transactional Analysis (TA) theory, created by psychiatrist Dr. Eric Berne. I’m using TA as a tool for improving the dysfunctional communication. My main focus is on the ”games people play”. A game is a series of transactions between two or more people, which follow a predictable behavioural pattern, resulting in a predictable outcome. When we have understood these games, we can successfully break some of the ”bad” behavioural patterns. This talk presents the basic parts of the TA theory as well as to analyse some of the typical ”games” and show how they can be discontinued.

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