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“Lately, I seem to be hearing complaints more often from managers about their employees. The main issue from managers is that they have to perform the parental function in workplace relations with their employees, who in turn are behaving more like infants rather than adults. Employees seem to be quarreling, sneering, resenting, losing interest, forgetting, missing deadlines and so on.
If you are a manager and this story resonates with you, then Dr. Eric Berne’s theory should help. According to his transactional analysis concept, all people at different times and under different circumstances play one of three roles: a parent, a child or an adult. Switching from one role to another is actually quite easy. Ironically, we seem to be constantly stuck in the same role.
As a parent, a person teaches, directs, evaluates, prohibits, sets boundaries, understands, has no doubts, knows how to manage conflict, searches for the culprit, demands and is responsible for everything. They use such phrases as “You must,” “It is impossible,” “You should,” “Stop it immediately,” etc. A caring parent is also expressed through manifestations of such qualities as warmth, encouragement, willingness to help, empathy, etc.”
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