Sunday, July 5, 2015

Big Ego's and Star Trek

That's a lot of Ego

Transactional Analysis is a very accessible theory of modern psychology. It's been a great tool for me to engage in "Adult-to-Adult" conversations.  The following 10 minute video is a great introduction to the concepts.

It's an obvious statement to say that Leadership is largely about people.  However, attending Greg Witz's Leadership workshop was a great way to learn by doing.  As pre-work, we were asked to have our colleagues answer multiple choice questions to determine what our predominate ego states are.

For myself, when I'm feeling creative and generating ideas
I gravitate towards "Spontaneous Child" ego state.   When working with others I sometimes find myself in the "Nurturing Parent" ego state.

This works great when we're in a pinch and need to rally the troops towards a common goal.

However, I've learned that this can sometimes trigger negative reactions. For example, the "Critical Parent" ego state may see the "Nurturing Parent" or "Spontaneous Child" as either insincere or manipulative.

In these interactions, I find it's more productive if I stick to the "Adult" ego state - focusing on results and facts.  It's a deliberate choice on how I communicate, without changing who I am.

As a Star Trek geek, I noticed many examples of the various ego states in the show.  I've tried to find video clips that demonstrate how various ego states start out, and change through the interaction.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Critical Parent and Angry Children

Worf plays the "Angry Child" ego state often.  Picard demonstrates how a little "Critical Parent" ego state can provide a healthy challenge to the "Angry Child".

Spontaneous Children, Angry Child and Adult

Q provides lots of examples of the "Spontaneous Child". Picard starts with a little "Angry Child" and closes with some "Adult".  I'm not personally advocating for using the "Angry Child" as demonstrated, but it provides some context on how the "Angry Child" could cut to the chase especially if a "Spontaneous Child" is being disruptive.  Equally important, it's interesting to see how Picard quickly follows up with an "Adult" ego state.

Withdrawn Children, Nurturing Parent and Adult

Here, Deanna Troi starts as a "Withdrawn Child", and Guainan comes in with with a mixture of "Spontaneous Child" and "Nurturing Parent".  Guainan moves the dialogue to a close with them both engaged in an Adult-to-Adult conversation.

Angry Child, Critical Parent and Adult

In this scene Data takes command of the Starship Enterprise. Worf unproductively challenges Data frequently with his "Angry Child" ego state.  Data pulls him aside and initiates with a strong "Critical Parent" ego state and closes with Adult.

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