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Life Positions

Life Positions is a fantastic model to explain the interactions that we have in work and also in life.

Thomas and Amy Harris refined Eric Berne’s original work on Transactional Analysis, and in 1967 Thomas Harris wrote the infamous book ‘I'm ok, you’re ok’. In this book the Harris' simplified Transactional Analysis to a wider audience, through the creation of 4 Life Positions. The ‘windows to the world’ that we as individuals have in our everyday interactions. The Life Positions are a mindset, a way of thinking, they are our internal dialogue. We display our Life Positions through our feelings, non-verbal and verbal behaviour.

On your workshop with evalu8d you will have been shown the following 4 box model, which we have over-layered the original Parent, Adult and Child, from Transactional Analysis

Life Positions model

It's these Life Positions that we explore and use in our daily interactions. Ultimately we are aiming for a

+/+ Mindset and Behaviour balance,

that's the Holy Grail of this particular model. Possibly unachievable 100% of the time, maybe, however something to aspire to nonetheless!

As you look at this next model, we initially like to break it down into two specific areas

Mindset

'v'

Behaviour

Mindset

What we are thinking about in a situation. Our internal dialogue, that inner voice that talks to us. It may be a positive voice saying "Come on you can do this!", alternately it may say "Are you sure?"

Behaviour

How others view us in a situation. We may say "I'm fine", but our body language, or tone of voice betrays us, as we look and sound anything other than fine!

Consider the following, linking this to the Life Positions

In presenting to senior colleague, or an important client, we may have a Mindset (Internal Dialogue) of "Oh no, I can't do this, I'm so nervous! What is I mess up? I should have done more research.

However, our Behaviour (Observed by Others) is professional, confident, energetic. As in the 'heat' of the presentation we find an adrenalin, our internal dialogue evaporates, and we enjoy, in a sadistic way the experience. After the event, we leave feeling like we've done a good job, then our dear friend the internal dialogue, plants seeds of doubt, back into us, it's good like that!

On the flip side, we mat be feeling uber happy and in control, but in a moment, someone catches us and says "Are you ok? it's just you look a bit....." again

Perception is Reality.

The Life Positions, help us to understand, and in many ways accept, the behaviour and mindset of others and our self. The table below shows some classic Mindset and bahviours

Mindset
(Inner dialogue,
Unheard)
Behaviour
(Observed
by Others)

Normal Extreme Normal Extreme

+/-

"Seriously, what are they doing?"
"Unbelievable"
"I may as well do it myself"
"They are pathetic"
"Waste of space"
"blah blah"
Uber confident
Strong
Loud
Agressive
Arrogant
Uncaring

-/+

"I can't do this"
"They are good"
"I may as well do it myself"
"Get me out of here"
"I'm scared"
"It's alright for them"
Shy
Reflective
Quiet
Submissive
Nervy
Timid

-/-

"I just feel ..yuk"
"Maybe it'll go away"
"If you only knew"
"What is the point?"
"I'm lost"
"You're not much better either"
Down
Uninterested
Futile
Depressed
Lost
Rabbit in headlights

+/+

"I'll give it a go"
I can see it from your side
"I am alright with this"
"It's the right thing to do"
"I understand"
"That can happen"
"It's scary but I will try it"
Calm
Cool
Controlled
Adult
Professional
Neutral
Confident

We will expand on and share ways to get to the Adult Life Position more often, in our next section becoming plus plus