Improving Communication through Transactional Analysis

with Mina Boström Nakićenović

Mina Zolnowski

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’ve 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. In my interactive talk, I’m going to present the basic parts of the TA theory as well as to analyse some of the typical ”games” and show how they can be discontinued.

Mina's Bio:

I’ve been working as a software architect for 20 years, mainly in financial industry. I’ve been developing electronic trading systems at FIS Front Arena, so my main focus is on improving financial transactions, since it’s the way how my company makes business. Nowadays, as a formal development manager and an informal agile leader, I’ve started focusing also on other types of transactions – transactions between people. In order to improve the communication between people I’m using the ”Transactional Analysis” theory, which also helps me in improving my leadership skills.

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