"There is a lot of washing-up in the sink" - provocation or factual statement?
You arrive home from a busy day at work. Upon walking into the kitchen you see a lot of washing-up in the sink. There are dishes from last night’s dinner, this morning’s breakfast, lunchtime plates and numerous coffee cups.
Without a second thought you make the comment, ‘There is a lot of washing up in the sink’. This can elicit three responses from your partner or housemate.
Eric Berne identified these three ego states as Parent, Adult and Child in his work on Transactional Analysis.
In Project work, understanding the psychology of individuals is important. What we say can be interpreted in different ways. Consider the question ‘Have you finished reviewing the design document?’ Replies could vary:
Now we can respond in different ways.
Communication is a two-way process. There is the sender and the receiver. What was said might not be heard or understood in the way that it is meant. Especially in a professional environment, a pause to contemplate the motive behind the question and a little understanding of psychology could help us frame an appropriate response. In this way we maintain the relationship and hopefully avoid a potentially inflammatory situation.