1. According to the theory of transactional analysis, there are three ego-states: a child, a parent and an adult. The different situations activate specific ego-states. Human interactions are called transactions. In the aforementioned case, people play various roles, depending on the situation they engage in and the current ego-states (Berne, 1973). In the frameworks of the classification, the situation in question fits the pattern of the parent-and-child transaction. The supervisor plays the role of a parent, who tells off and lectures the employee (a child) for arriving late. The employee reacts like a child, because instead of taking responsibility for his/her mistake, he/she takes offence and points finger on other employees’ undesirable behavior.
Transactional analysis is applicable to a so-called “okay corral” (Wilson, 2014). According to the diagram, there are four outcomes of social encounters:”get-on-with”, “get-away-from”, “get-nowhere-with”, “get-rid-off” (Wilson, 2014). The first type means that each person is satisfied with the result of interaction; it is a win-win scenario. The condition orients towards mutual benefits type of encounter, and the involved people act as adults. It brings many versatile opportunities and yields good results. In the given example, nobody behaved like an adult; thus, nobody won. The boss should not have been emotional in his remark, and the employee should not have reacted in the defensive way. The worker should have apologized and promised to improve his behavior without putting blame on others. Consequently, they could have avoided the conflict and solved the problem like professionals.
2. According to the transactional analysis, both the supervisor and the employee played the roles of adults. Adults analyze information and evaluate the actions objectively to solve the problem or adapt to the situation (Berne, 1973). They do not seek approval, excuses or shift the blame. They are interested in learning and correcting their mistakes to improve their performance. The adults desire to establish the correlation between the demands of the outer world and their abilities and desires. Adults can work towards their goals alone and in the team.
According to the Johari window, the supervisor helped the employee to move from the blind spot to the open area by showing him his mistakes and achievements (Wilson, 2014). The supervisor gave an objective evaluation of the employee’s work without expressing disapproval or grievances. On the other hand, the employee communicated gratitude for his/her comment and asked for suggestions to improve his/her performance. Both players were adults and showed that they shared a common goal, which is the professional growth.
3. In the process of revealing blind spots and improving communication on the job, a coach can combine the methods of management audit, 360o feedback , psychometric tools, and one-to-one conversations for needs and goals identification (Dembkowski, Eldrige, & Hunter, 2006, p.105-108). In the given situation, the coach started from a 360o feedback, which ended with argument because employees were unprepared to hear the truth. The coach could have begun with a management audit and a positive review. The first strategy aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an executive. The second method helps to improve the self-esteem of workers by highlighting their success and potential for growth. Psychometric tools could also have been useful in the provided situation because they aid the objective assessment of people’s skills, interests, and abilities through standardized tests (Dembkowski et al., 2006, p.109-11). The feedback procedure should also have included a series of one-to-one interviews with all employees. Personal conversations are necessary to clarify people’s priorities and problems. The critical aspect is building rapport with a client, showing empathy and encouraging him/her to tell more details. Moreover, the couch should listen and show a genuine interest in the person’s life (Dembkowski et al, 2006, p.111-112). The procedure helps people discover and share their needs and motives, and improve relationships in the working team.
A good coach will never rely on one single technique because the situation requires careful assessment from the multiple perspectives and the application of various tools (Dembkowski et al., 2006, p.110-111). Creating trustful connection between the coach and the team, as well as among the team members is an essential step in the process of improving communication. Therefore, a leadership coach must formulate a plan with clear set of goals, and take the role of the guide and mediator for the team.
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