By Daniel Spinelli and Eneida Ludgero
New approaches are being sought and used to enhance the results of learning in organizational training. In this search, there are two established concepts (Transactional Analysis and Experiential Education) that have been found by professionals in training and development as good choices of reasoning or method of work.
Once I have dedicated myself to studies of the two approaches as well as I use them in organizational training, I began to find great similarities between both starting by its philosophical principles.
The purpose of this paper is to present the main common points found during a series of investigations and trials, and from there to propose a new learning cycle for training so that the two methodologies can be used together.
1 – Learning Theories:
1.1 – About Transactional Analysis:
Transactional Analysis is a theory which studies the structure of the human personality from transactions that an individual makes to himself and others. It was developed in 1958 by Eric Berne, a Canadian psychiatrist.
1.2 – About the Experiential Training
2 – Getting to know the Authors
2.1 – Eric Berne (1910-1970)
Great leader and originator of many studies by which the Transactional Analysis was developed and implemented. He wrote eight books and published numerous articles. “He studied psychiatry and psychoanalysis but never became a professional analyst” (WOOLAMS & BROWN. 1979). Early theories of Berne on AT appeared in 1949 and in 1958 Berne opened the first seminar of AT. In 1962 he started the Transactional Analiys Bulletin which in 1971 became the Transactional Analysis Journal. Eric Berne’s contributions are mainly in the area of theory and philosophy; his books are until today a reference for practitioners and scholars of the theories of human behavior.
Some of his beliefs give us an idea of the fundamental bases of AT.
2.2 – Kurt Hahn (1886 – 1974)
Hahn ´s Concepts and Ideas
Kurt Hahn wrote very little in his life, he believed that his ideas were not original and were taken from many other thinkers. He thought that his role was to apply his ideas in himself, share and multiply through people; many of his pupils brought his ideas forward. Other important schools were founded with his concepts, such as the Atlantic Challenge, the Kurt Hahn Trust and the Round Square.
“Each person has more courage, strength and compassion than he/she has ever measured.”
“The experience of helping a colleague in distress, or even the realistic training to be prepared to give such assistance tends to change the balance of power within the life of a human being with the result that compassion can become an intrinsic value. “
“The experiential learning is a kind of educational program and / or therapy in which physical and psychological demands of the adventure are used (within a framework of security) to promote inter-and intrapersonal growth.” (Bagby & Chavarria, 1980)
3 – Similarities:
· Group works – Berne, in 1963, early development of TA, writes the book “Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups.” The experiential training uses as an environment the outdoors journeys in groups.
But beyond any recorded heritage of these similarities, I can contribute to the construction of this idea with my perceptions generated by the observations of the works using the two theories together. In these studies we have found a great synergy, noting especially how AT has helped the participant to better perceive the group and themselves, using the easy “transactional” terms and concepts to improve the quality of discussions in the processing of the experiences.
4 – Proposition
We have used when working with organizational groups two possibilities to approach clippings theory of transactional analysis during training:
– Before the Experience (figure 2)
In both cases, after the presentation of concepts relevant to the themes of the training focus, in the next cycles (concerning the forthcoming activities) the AT Concept works as a backdrop that helps mapping the entire training.
With this text we hope to have contributed to increase the reflection and studies on the use of the concepts presented here.