Organisational Development, Management and Leadership
Another TA model used in organisations is Karpman’s Drama Triangle, (Karpman, 1971) which describes the three roles of the Persecutor , the Victim and the Rescuer.
Another TA model used in Organisations is Karpman’s Drama Triangle, (Karpman, 1971) which describes the three roles of the Persecutor, the Victim and the Rescuer. An example of the roles played in a typical drama triangle at work is as follows:
You might have a manager who believes "My staff are useless, lazy, and untrustworthy.” He would be seen by his staff as the Persecutor. The subordinate might think, "I can never do anything right. The boss is cruel and demanding and unfair.” He would be playing the role of Victim.
The drama might unfold when one day, our Victim employee has had enough, and goes to HR to lodge a grievance against his Persecutor boss. We have a switch! The Victim has just become the Persecutor, and is now blaming the boss. The boss has just become the Victim.
HR, if they do their Rescuing role quite right, will get a turn to be Victim soon enough, as the boss blames them for siding with the employees, and as the employee blames them for not being able to solve their problem.
In the end, all three prove their beliefs about themselves and others to be right. Beliefs such as “you can’t trust anyone these days” (Victim) or “nobody appreciates me” (Rescuer), or “give them a hand and they’ll take the whole arm” (Persecutor)
Get the feeling that this is a game? It is. It is a psychological Game (Berne 1964), and it may even have a name, such as “Why Don’t You, Yes But”, or “Now I’ve got you you SOB"
We may wonder why, instead of just getting on with it, we spend our time and energy being caught up in these Games. The answer is in the power of strokes which I referred to in my previous blog. Strokes are “as necessary to human life as food, water and shelter” (Steiner, 1971) , so it is no wonder that games are played in order to win strokes.
Date Created: 2009-12-14