Report on the Analysis of Ineffective Communication in the Workplace

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1.0 Introduction
This report will analyse and examine issues of interpersonal behaviour in the workplace. It will describe a scenario observed concerning communication and will include an analysis of the problems that occurred. A conclusion will be made which will lead to recommendations to prevent this situation from recurring. 2.0 The scenario

The main conflict in this scenario transpired between persons B and C (see appendix 1) on the shop floor of B & Q. Person B had previously spoken rudely about person C to person D. Persons D and C are good friends, therefore person D informed C about the incident. Person C then discussed the issue with Person A who had a one-to-one meeting with person B. The outcome of the meeting was that Person B should have an informal meeting with person C to resolve the issue. However, person B avoided holding this meeting and instead chose to speak to person C on the shop floor in the presence of customers. (See appendix 2 for the transcript of the scenario). 3.0 Transactional Analysis and Effective Communication

Transactional Analysis assists when evaluating this situation as the model is a popular way of explaining the dynamics of interpersonal communication. It was developed by Eric Berne in 1949 and has two fundamental assumptions; all the events and feelings people experience are stored within them and can be replayed, and that personality is made up of three ego states that manifest themselves in gesture, tone of voice and actions. The child ego state is described as the ‘feelings state’ and involves people behaving as they did when they were a child. This includes three sub-states which are the ‘free or natural child’, the ‘little professor’ and the ‘rebellious child’. The free or natural child state focuses on genuine feelings, acting on impulse and letting others know how we feel. The little professor state is creative, questioning and experimental. As the name suggests, the rebellious child state invokes rebellion, frustration and withdrawal. The adult ego state involves behaviour that concerns thought processes and can be defined as ‘the thoughtful’ state. This state focuses on data collection, reality testing and objectiveness. The parent state is described as the ‘taught’ state and consists of two sub-states; the nurturing and the critical parent. In this state, people take responsibility and tend to behave in ways learnt from parental figures. The nurturing parent state involves caring for other people, whereas in the critical or controlling parent state people have a tendency to lay down rules and boundaries and insist on their own method of getting the job done. Exclusions of ego states occur when someone is permanently using one ego state and cuts off the others (see appendix 7). There are three types of transactions in communication; complementary, crossed and ulterior (see appendix 3). When both parties’ ego states match, this is a complementary transaction and communication can continue. Crossed transactions occur when one party addresses a different ego state to the one the other party is currently in. The communication in crossed transactions disintegrates and can result in bad feelings. Ulterior transactions involve a crossed transaction on a psychological level, however on the surface the ego states seem to match leading to people playing games with one another. Strokes are units of recognition and are given and received via the five senses. Positive strokes are life and growth encouraging, whereas negative strokes are the opposite and cause the recipient to feel dejected. Transactional analysis assumes that our characteristic ways of feeling and behaving derive from the way we feel about ourselves in relation to other people. These are referred to as the four life positions and consist of “I’m not OK, You’re OK”, “I’m not OK, You’re not OK”, “I’m OK, You’re not OK” and “I’m OK, You’re OK” (see appendix 4). Body language is another...
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