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Organizational TA in the Workplace
Most organizations have difficulties at some time or other with communication within, and between, different departments and teams. Often consultants are called in to enable the organization to establish clear communication, sometimes being asked to set up a process or system to enable effective communication. However, in my own experience I have found that communication is usually only effective when people feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their colleagues.
I will outline two models I have used with departments and teams to enable them to get to grips with the issues they need to address and to go on to resolve these. I link the second model to Wickens’ work in The Ascendant Organization.
The first model, Concepts for Thriving, (Mountain, 2004: pp 59-61) is based on Denton Roberts’ Hierarchy of Functioning, and fits with the philosophy and the belief that safety and security are of paramount importance. It also takes into account both the individual and the organization and can be used as a diagnostic tool and a structure for action. It is based on the assumption that there are seven basic components to effective functioning, i.e. emotional safety, positive reinforcement, belonging, clear communication, productive activity, integration and celebration. Celebration needs to implicitly, if not explicitly, run throughout the concepts.
These seven components are built upon each other; that is, one must be in place before you can go on to the next. When they are established, nourished and applied in an organization that is the degree to which the organization, and the relationships within it, are functional. The extent to which these basic components are established, nourished or applied, is the extent to which the organization is dysfunctional or functional.