Chapter 9: Thresholds of Interpersonal Behavior

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Learning Objectives: Understand the concept of Interpersonal Skills Understand the role of negative emotions and formation of trust in Interpersonal relationships Understand how effective interpersonal relationships can be created proactively through signaling trustworthiness Understand the conceptual frameworks that explain why people have Interpersonal styles and orientations


Interpersonal situations, relationships and processes are those occurring one to one between two persons, not necessarily face to face Two interacting people are not always face-to-face as in case of a phone conversation While ‘interpersonal relationships’ is an everyday kind of an expression and something all of us engage in; creating and maintaining highly effective relationships with others can be a challenge for many


In the management literature generally the term “Interpersonal” refers to relationships and interactions with bosses, leaders, subordinates, peers, suppliers and customers The term ‘skill’ in the behavioural science is defined as “intentionally repeatable, goal directed behaviours and behaviour sequences” What kind of ‘ability’, in other words our capacity for action we have, is decided on the basis of the kind of our interpersonal relationships and the way we manage them When someone exercises the qualitative aspects of a skill such as effectiveness or appropriateness, we judge that person as competent.


Listening, questioning and presenting Facilitating and Supporting others Asserting Self Negotiating Working with groups


Creating or perceiving and managing the limits that mark and separate territories are known as boundaries Effectiveness of the interpersonal relationship is affected by the degree to which these boundaries are managed Types of Boundaries: Task Boundary Time Boundary Territorial Boundary


Threat: When the possibility for harm and loss exists, a cooperative project may appear as a threat to participants’ goals, concerns, and wellbeing rather than appearing as an opportunity for joint gain which cannot be made individually by either party alone Three major sources of risk and harm: Opportunism Neglect by others interests and concerns important to self Identity damage during interactions Trust: Developing trust can be difficult even if we acknowledge its importance. This is because trusting person is often vulnerable and so reluctant to or fearful of trusting The following can help build trust: Manage negative emotions Facilitate the other party in trusting us through threat regulation


Interpersonal Styles – FIRO B


Transactional Analysis is an analysis of Transactions that go on between human beings who are interacting with each other … [that] explains why people differ from each other and behave the way they do with each other The basic assumption of the TA framework is that all individuals experience the hunger or needs for (1) strokes (craving for stimulus), (2) structure (craving for structure) and (3) meaning (existential hunger) in life Strokes are understood to be units of recognition, and the structure can be achieved through various ways including rituals, pastime, activity, games and intimacy


A transaction can be understood as a set of a stimulus and a response when people engage themselves in communication or social exchange Every transaction has a stimulus and a response An Ego state is defined as "a coherent system of feelings which motivates a related set of behaviour patterns Together, the three ego states are discrete, permeable repositories of all our experiences and govern all our attitude and behaviour. Known as Parent, Adult and Child, and always referred to with capitalized letters, only one at a time is active.


Complementary transaction occurs when response to a stimulus is from an expected ego state A transaction is crossed when unexpected or inappropriate response is made to a transaction stimulus A covert or duplex transaction contains hidden message and involves more than two ego states


Games are repetitive transactions played out with hidden motivation for some pay off which is not wholesome fun A Game has two or more players and exchange of transactions among them gratifies the stroke hunger without direct expression of inner thoughts and emotions Some people conclude that others can be nasty, bad, troublemakers, and therefore not okay. These early decisions are likely to be unrealistic, distorted or irrational. Based on these decisions, four basic combinations of decisions concerning individuals themselves and others are worked out in the language of Transactional Analysis: I am OK - You are OK I am OK - You are not OK I am not OK - You are OK I am Not OK - You are not OK

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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