Part II: You are what you think about – a reflection of your ego states – Transactions and Life Positions

Monday Message from Jerry Houston, President and CEO of HPISolutions

Last week, I introduced the concept of Transactional Analysis.  If you missed reading it, go back now and read it, before you continue with this week’s message.

The idea that we are a compilation of both our natural DNA and the nurturing influences of those around us is absolutely accurate.  We all have a Parent, Child, and Adult ego state.  We are not, however, a prisoner to those recorded messages from childhood, and we have a great capacity to manage our ego states, with some effort.

I pointed out in the last Monday Message that a person is best suited to be in the rational reasonable Adult ego state in a business setting.  Being a controlling Parent or negative Child doesn’t work well and can have a detrimental impact on how you are viewed by others.

This week, I’d like to talk about crossed transactions, life positions, and strokes (no, not the physical kind).

Crossed Transactions are what happens when, for example, a negative Child posture, often gets a negative Parent reaction.  The whining Child is met with a reprimand and negative discipline, which accomplishes nothing in terms of a healthy professional relationship.  A positive path is to meet either the Parent or Child with the Adult attitudes of being reasonable and rational and staying the course until the negative positions move to a more Adult posture.

Much of the willingness to accomplish what I am suggesting comes from life positions.  They are;

  • I’m not Ok, and you are not Ok,
  • I’m Ok, but you are not Ok,
  • You are Ok, but I’m not Ok,
  • and the preferred position, I’m Ok and You are Ok.

Think about how accepting yourself and others, equally helps to get to the Adult Ego State.

Let’s talk for a second about strokes.  Strokes are units of recognition.  They can be positive or negative.

  • Have you ever shared an idea with your boss, and the reaction is rejection?
  • Have you ever accomplished a goal and received praise for your accomplishment?
  • Which do you prefer?

It is very important to give strokes, especially positive ones, in order to let others know that you care about them and about what they are doing.

If you found these two writings on Transactional Analysis (TA) interesting, reach out and request a TA Assessment.  It comes with a self-scoring instrument and allows you to discover where you are in your ego states.

Have a Great Week!