Leadership and Transactional Analysis The Synchronisation Guidance | #leadership #management #Analysis


Many factors influence leadership, and no one leadership style fits all situations. To gain insights into one’s leadership behavior and to develop the skills to change one’s style, management researchers suggest application of transactional analysis.

Transactional  analysis Manager presents ideas and invites questions.  was developed by the late Eric Berne and popularized in his book Games People Play. The general value of TA in improving communication soon became evident. More recently it has been shown that TA may also be used to improve appraisal. It also can be used to change leadership behavior. Manager presents tentative decision subject to change. Manager presents problem, gets suggestions, makes decision. Child. (These terms have nothing to do with age; they refer only to ego states. The Parent ego state may be seen, for example, in authoritative and even prejudiced behavior that is learned, to a large extent, from parents and other influential persons, especially during early life. A manager, then, operating in this ego state would make extensive use of authority, giving little freedom to subordinates. This would correspond to Manager defines limits; asks group to make decision Manager permits subordinates to function within limits defined by superior The point is that the ego states of leaders may help to explain their behavior. TA facilitates the recognition of the ego states and provides us with the tools for changing one’s leadership style to fit a variety of leadership situations. Leadership Behavior: Parent, Adult, Child TA consists of several parts: Structural analysis, which focuses on the ego states of individuals; the analysis of transactions, which emphasizes the interactions between individuals; the way time is structured, which includes the analysis of psychological games people tend to play; and finally the life positions one may adopt about oneself and others. This discussion, though, will emphasize the ego states, explained through structural analysis. An ego state, according to Berne, is a consistent pattern of feelings and experiences directly related to a corresponding pattern of behavior. Each personality, then, consists of three ego states: the Parent, the Adult, and the the left side of the model in Figure 1. The Adult ego state, on the other hand is the rational part of the personality. The behavior includes, for example, information gathering and decision making based on a careful analysis of the facts. This ego state can be seen in a leadership behavior that may approximate the middle part and slightly to the right of the model in Figure 1. The Child ego state—the third part of the personality—pertains largely to emotional aspects. It consists of the mental recordings of internal events. This ego state could probably be seen in the leadership behavior described at the extreme right side in the model. Each ego state is a source of managerial behavior. The most likely relationships between the ego state and leadership style are summarized in Figure 2 in which popular—and shorter—labels are used to describe the managerial behaviors using different degrees of authority and the respective areas of freedom of subordinates. 1. Autocratic leadership and the Parent ego state. An autocratic leader operates primarily from the Parent ego state. In fact, this manager is often critical and even prejudiced in the relationship with subordinates. Authority, unfortunately, is often seen as the principal— if not the only— way to guide subordinates in their jobs. Such a manager, for example, identifies the problems, objectives, and plans for the subordinates. He selects the course of action to be taken, and subordinates have few opportunities to participate in the decision-making process. Consequently, there is little commitment by subordinates to the aims of the organization. This leader may even use threats to get things done. Moreover, controls are rigid, and the manager acts as a judge in evaluating the performance of subordinates. In short, under this kind of leadership, subordinates have little freedom to influence their own work environment. 2. Benevolent-autocratic leadership and the Parent ego state. The benevolentautocratic leader also operates primarily from his Parent ego state. More specifically, it is especially the Nurturing Parent ego state that establishes the relationship between the superior and subordinates. Such a manager will identify problems, objectives, and plans for the subordinates. He may ask for some Leadershi p St 1. Autocratic 2. yle Benevolent / Autocratic 3. Consultive 4. Participative 5. Democratic 6. inputs Free-Rein / Permissive  from  his people, which, however, may or may not be seriously considered. Although there is some upward communication, information flow is primarily downward, and it is evident that this kind of leadership provides for rather limited freedom for subordinates. 3. Consultive leadership: The Adult and Parent ego states. A consultive manager presents ideas, invites questions from subordinates, and considers their inputs. This leader, for example, may use his Adult ego state to gather information necessary for decisions, although the decision might still be implemented through the Parent ego state. A manager using the consultive leadership style provides a moderate number of opportunities to subordinates for participating in goal setting and the development of plans. Also, there is a considerable degree of integration of objectives and plans of various organizational units. Communication, in general, tends to flow fairly well, both  vertically and horizontally. Further, subordinates do have some say in the evaluation of their own performance. In all, the consultive manager provides an environment that encourages problem solving and decisions based on objective facts, although the implementation of plans may still be done from the Parent ego state. 4. Participative leadership and the Adult ego state. This manager feels OK about himself and others. The leader, utilizing his Adult ego state, collects data relevant to the decision. Subordinates, on the other hand, have a great deal of freedom to participate in the identification of problems and in suggesting solutions. The leader and the followers jointly set objectives, jointly develop plans, and jointly evaluate alternative courses of action. The emphasis may be on the smooth functioning of the group with free flow of information. The organizational climate, then, is conducive to selfcontrol and self-development, with a high degree of integration of individual needs and the demands on the organization. The leader’s style, based on the Adult ego state, provides ample freedom for subordinates to utilize their potentials. 5. Democratic leadership: Adult and Child ego states. This manager uses less authority and gives even more freedom to subordinates than the participative leader. As a manager he may not even reserve the final decisionmaking authority. His aim is to get consensus among the group members. Although this leader may derive his behavior from the Adult ego state by using the group to collect relevant information, decisions will not always be based on the facts as seen by the manager; instead, group members may override the leader’s decision because of the leader’s emotional concern for consensus as an end in itself. It is quite possible, therefore, that such a leader may operate both from the Child ego state and from the Adult. 6. Free-rein/permissive leadership and the Child ego state. The leaders using this managerial style may make few decisions, leaving this to a great extent to subordinates. This manager uses a minimum amount of authority, giving maximum freedom to subordinates. He may avoid using power because of NotOK feelings derived from his Child ego state. Or, it may simply be the result of a carefree attitude. There is little or no systematic effort by the leader to set objectives, identify problems, or develop plans. Subordinates may do as they wish. When creative ideas are developed by subordinates, they are seldom implemented. Further, this manager exercises little control and does not hold subordinates accountable for results. A close look at such a manager reveals that his behavior can improve the interaction with his people by providing the proper stimulus to get a more effective response. Specifically, he can direct his message more frequently to the Adult ego states of subordinates, and the tools provided through  TA can facilitate the interactions with employees. Perhaps the easiest way to increase effectiveness is to begin with the leader. The individual who recognizes the ego state that gives rise to his leadership style will be able to better assess the forces not only in himself but also in subordinates and in the situation. More specifically, effective leader behavior requires (1) the recognition of one’s own ego state, 2) the strengthening of originates primarily from the Child ego state, with decisions made on impulse rather than on a rational basis.

TA and the Effective Leader We can conclude, then, that the effective leader uses his Adult state to recognize the relevant factors such as the type of organization, the nature of the task, and the problem itself; and then selects the ego state appropriate to the situation. Leadership is one of the most widely discussed topics in management. It is the leader who makes decisions vital to the health an survival of the organization; who determines the organizational structure; and who identifies the critical areas of control. Finally, i is the leader who establishes an environment in which individuals work together in groups to achieve individual and organizational objectives. d t Many factors influence effective leadership, and there is no one best leadership style that fits all situations. Instead, the effective leader uses the degree of authority appropriate to the situation and the subordinates. To gain insights into one’s leadership behavior and to develop the skills to change one’s style the application of transactional analysis is recommended. Critical to the understanding and changing of one’s behavior is the recognition that the leadership style may originate in one o r more of the ego states. First, the Parent is usually the source of the autocratic, the benevolent/ autocratic and at times, the consultive leadership styles. Second the Adult is usually the source of the participative leader behavior, but may also contribute to the consultive and democratic style. Third, the Child is usually the source of the free-rein/permissive leadership style; the Chil d may also be found in the democratic managerial style. The effective leader recognizes ego states that are the sources of his leadership inclinations. Although all three ego states—the Parent, the Adult, and the Child—are important to a healthy personality, it is the Adult that is too often underutilized and needs to be strengthened. Furthermore, the effective manager can improve interpersonal transaction with subordinates by recognizing thei r predominant ego state. Finally, the successful manager analyzes the situation; that is, he selects his ego state and associate d behavior based on an analysis of the type of organization, the nature of the task, and the problem itself. In conclusion, then, the effective manager recognizes his own ego states, those of subordinates, and those demanded by the situation. He is then not only better able to select the appropriate leadership style, but even more important, he can use the tools o f transactional analysis to change his leadership style. This benefits the leader, the subordinates, and the organization.

Source used by edited
Heinz Weihrich, associate professor of management  and organizational behavior at Arizona State University, writes frequently on management and behaviorial topics for business and management journals in the United States and Europe. Dr. Weihrich also is the author and coauthor of several books, including the recently published Management: An MBO Approach (with Jack Mendleson), Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
© 1979, AMACOM, a division of American Management Associations. All rights reserved. 0025-1895/79/0004-0026

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