When people interact in assertive or non-assertive ways, there is a social transaction in which one person responds to another. The study of these social analyses was developed by Eric Berne for psychotherapy in 1950s. The objective of transactional analysis is to provide better understanding of how people relate to each other, so that they may develop improved communication and human relationships. The basic tenet of transactional analysis is that each one of us operates from three ego states and there are compatible and incompatible messages that we send to each other from time to time. By analyzing the messages, we will be able to engage in more fruitful and effective pattern.
Types of Transactions
1. Complementary Transactions: Transactions are complementary when the ego stages of the sender and the receiver in the opening transaction are simply reversed in the response. When the pattern between ego states is charted, the lines are parallel. Following figure shows the relationship.
Complementary TransactionS = Stimulus R= Response
The above figure shows that the supervisor speaks to and employee as parent to child and the employee respond as child to parent.
It is superior initiates in a parent to child pattern, the employees tend to respond from a child state. Unfortunately, a superior subordinate relationship tends to lead to parent child transaction, especially when instruction given or appraisals are conducted. If the superior's behavior is dominated by this pattern, it may lead to reduced interpersonal and group effectiveness.
2. Non- complementary or crossed transaction: Occur when the stimulus and response line are not parallel i.e. in this, the supervisor tries to deal with the employee on and adult to adult basis, but the employee responds on a child to parent basis. The important point is that when the crossed transaction occurs, communication tends to be blocked and a satisfactory transaction is not accomplished. Conflict often follows soon afterwards. In general, the transaction that is likely to be most effective at work is that of adult to adult. This kind of transaction encourages problem solving, treats people at reasonably equals and reduces the probability of emotional conflicts between people.