Assertiveness Coaching – Master Class 2

Empowerment Coaching Blog - Assertiveness Coaching Master Class 2

In the previous episode, guided by Agata Domańska, we outlined three people in us: Child, Parent, and Adult. Today, a lot more information about the typical features of individual roles and their characteristic behaviors in contact with another, external person.


Normative and Caring Parent

The Caring Parent helps, cares for others, supports them, motivates, and advises them. He puts his hand on his shoulder, smiles, his voice is warm, his demeanor is open. The Normative Parent sets limits, guards norms, defines a hierarchy of values, orders, prohibits, and makes rules.

He frowns, uses his index finger, crosses his arms over his chest, and has keen eyesight.

The negative aspect of the Caring Parent is the Lifeguard. He doesn't help so much as presses on help. He doesn't ask if help is needed or if we want it. He helps and that's it. He also relieves in difficult duties, instead of providing guidance and letting you learn from mistakes.

It takes away the courage of independence, strengthens passivity and a sense of lack of competence. And he feels underestimated because he expects gratitude and doesn't get it. This, plus exhaustion, often leads to aggression and anger towards those around you.

The negative aspect of the Normative Parent is the Torturer. Its purpose is to keep standards for the sake of standards, not because they are needed. His messages are: "you have to do it and that's it", "do it because I say so." Sometimes these standards are not applicable. The Oppressor's goal is to criticize, punish, humiliate and belittle others.

In most companies, there are most parents. And they say what and how should be done. But beware: the ever-educating Parent who always knows better is indigestible to those around him. If we tend to act as a Parent, it is better to choose the Guardian variant, sometimes switching to the Normative form - so that our colleagues do not get over our heads 😃

A Spontaneous, Adapted, and Rebellious Child

When we experience emotions and have a problem with them - the Child Me is activated. Our needs, desires, intuition, creativity, emotions, and feelings emerge in this state.

The child is open, authentic, committed, gifted with a creative mind, going beyond the limits. He freely expresses his emotions, needs, and thoughts. He contacts the world on the level of impressions. But it also expresses anger, anger, fear and demands immediate satisfaction of its needs.

This state is called a Spontaneous Child. He can and loves to have fun, but he is not a good business partner because he is selfish, self-centered. He makes bad career decisions because he is prone to risk, does not take responsibility, and cannot judge the consequences. Others often see them as arrogant and impulsive.

When we start looking for a way to meet our needs to interact with the environment, we become an Adapted Child. This state means that we do not rush to work because we do not want to expose ourselves to the boss's reprimand. We adhere to the rules and principles of courtesy, generally followed standards. This kind of state of the Child allows us to function in various conditions and remain together.

When we overdo it, however, we become a Subordinate Child. His way of life is to succumb. Such a person was rewarded in childhood for obeying. And he continues to do so. He will not question his boss's orders, even if he sees them wrong. He does not need to understand the commands he is receiving. He will do it anyway.

If something goes wrong, he takes the blame but takes no responsibility. He repeats the opinions of others without revealing his own. In action, he is not guided by his own needs, but by the expectations of the environment. He is guilty and overly scrupulous in carrying out his duties.

At work, Subordinate Children are all gray mice. People who apologize to be alive, perfectionists who can't say no.

Rebellious Children are always "no" at work, and the more they are pressed, the more they resist. They are looking for a tease and have a problem accepting authority figures. Contrary to appearances, they are not so independent - they need someone to stand up to.

An Adult is the most mature form of contact with the world. Reacts to the here and now. It works straightforward, with no illusions. He sees reality without an emotion filter. In the professional world, it is the position of an Adult to function best ... "

But more on that in the next episode ... 😃


The author of these articles is Agata Domańska, a sociologist and journalist. They were originally published in the bimonthly "The Meaning".

See also:

Assertiveness Coaching

How to deal with a difficult boss?

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