Dealing with your team "disruptor"...


Regardless of your political views, many will feel some sympathy for the UK Prime Minister as she attempts to negotiate a BREXIT plan that works for the EU and Great Britain, whilst her former foreign secretary is intent on disrupting proceedings every step of the way. 

Rabble rousers in the ranks are far from uncommon. "Transactional Analysis" (as defined by Eric Berne) looks at the games people play and the roles they assume which in turn influence their behaviours and relationships. These are often ego-led and managers need effective strategies to deal with them. 


Teams work best when "everyone is OK". If I'm OK, you're not OK or I'm not OK, you're OK an imbalance occurs in a relationship or team, which may lead to disruptive or upsetting behaviours, defined by Berne as the ego states of Parent-Adult-Child. 

The Parent state may display either nurturing or autocratic tendencies. Each can have its uses, however, there are also down sides, such as teams developing over-dependency on the "Parent".

The Adult state is often most helpful, as it takes a logical approach, does not overreact emotionally and tends to be more pragmatic. 

The Child state may rear its head when a person feels undervalued or disagrees with direction and strategy, when it may manifest as "naughty child", "playful child" or "disruptive child", requiring a disproportionate amount of managers' time and attention.


Whilst the word "disruptor" is regularly deployed positively for innovation and creativity, it also has negative connotations and can lead to an accusatory or defensive stance that affects an entire team and its productivity. 

Here are some techniques to help you develop your team's purpose and bring you, your 'disruptor' and your team to a state where "everyone is OK".

Tip 1: Create a shared vision or purpose for your whole team. 
Tip 2: Make a plan. Invest in the plan. Set out clear actions and deadlines.
Tip 3: Set a high challenge with high support. Have high expectations. 
Tip 4: Be dispassionate. Take the emotion out of the situation. Deploy pragmatism.  
Tip 5: Deal with the situation, don't ignore it!

"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY" (by Eric Berne)

To find out more about Transactional Analysis and the dynamics of human relationships, read Eric Berne's highly acclaimed book: Games People Play. You'll discover a new level of awareness and the ability to recognise the Parent-Adult-Child behaviours when they come into play around you!

by Anna,