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Friday, December 17, 2010

Ego States in Action

For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website:

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

(It will be advisable to read some literature on “transaction analysis” and “ego states” in order to appreciate the management exercise given below. For this, you can refer our literature on the subjects published at: (Transaction Analysis- TA), (Life Positions and OKness) and (Positive Strokes)

If you are a trainer or a workshop coordinator of programs or seminars on “transaction analysis (TA)” and more specifically on “ego states”, this is the management exercise or role play you can use very effectively in your workshops or seminars. This management exercise also works as an icebreaker in many situations. This can invoke a tremendous participation from the audience if carried out effectively.

You should use this role play subsequent to giving the participants of your program some ideas about what the ego states are; the way they are defined under the discipline of transaction analysis- what kind of words, facial expressions, body postures, tones etc are used by the persons in various ego states.

Then select out some seven volunteers from your audience who feel confident to enact each ego state or at least wish to give it a try.

Give them one sample sentence. It could be any sentence. For example, the sentence could be, “You are good in your job and I appreciate you.” Or it could be any other sentence (you may as well like to involve the participants in the deciding the choice of a sentence). Instruct the volunteers that each of them will enact one ego state by speaking this particular sentence by using the tone and body language appropriate to that particular ego state, Tell them that they can add some additional words or phrases from their side to this sentence as prefix or suffix or in between the sentence to bring out the correct sense of the particular ego states they will be enacting.

Assign one volunteer to enact each of the following seven ego states:

  • Critical parent ego state
  • Nurturing parent ego state
  • Adult ego state
  • Free child ego state
  • Adapted child ego state
  • Rebellious child ego state
  • Little professor ego state
Now each volunteer will start enacting the ego state assigned to him. After each act, let the rest of the participants comment on it. You can even ask the enthusiastic participant(s) to enact that ego state any other way or by using some other sentence in some other situation.

Repeat this after every enactment of every ego state by each volunteer. By now there is likely to be lots of involvement from the audience and an increased understanding of the ego states among them.
Wrap up the session by giving additional inputs on the topic you may have to share with the participants of the program.

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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