Competent Youth Worker through the scope of Transactional Analysis

To make young people successful in their communication and in life, it is crucial to teach them how to use different ego states in different situations. The ego state of the Adult, for instance, is effective in the event of problems in their organisation. The ego state of the Child is helpful when some creativity is needed in the relaxed atmosphere in the group. At the same time, a good youth worker encourages young people to maintain and express all ego states.

The same goes for the youth worker themselves. A youth worker who is rarely in the ego state of the Free Child, can appear as if they are not capable of emotion or humour. These individuals usually do not know how to motivate and excite their group of young people. If such a youth worker of a youth organisation gets the task of managing a meeting, then their ego states could be as follows:

  • In the ego state of the Supervising Parent, the youth worker would structure the meeting carefully, control the interruptions, be able to behave in a dominant position, and insist on their own views.
  • In the ego state of the Nursing Parent, they will make sure that everyone presents their opinion, they will calm the tension, and may be worried because they would like to take care of everyone present.
  • In the ego state of the Adult, they would give an initiative to solve problems, look for compromises, and it could happen that the ideas of others would often be rejected and ignored their feelings.
  • The ego state of the Free Child involves entering elements of humour, encouraging and motivating presenters, but it can reach an extreme when telling the subordinates of inappropriate jokes and bringing in their personal problems in a meeting.
  • In the ego state of the Adapted Child, the youth worker could, on the one hand, show courtesy and respect for the employees, but on the other hand, they could avoid cooperation and wait for others to start asking.

When working on a project such as a youth exchange, the youth worker should take into consideration that different ego states are also needed for different situations. Some examples of this could be:  the Parent, when implementing rules of the project, the Adult, when supporting young people with learning as well as developing and producing results of the project, and the Child when developing ideas or implementing interactive exercises.

To become a competent youth worker, one should learn about acting in the context of ego states; the ability to act with their own emotions, as well as to recognise the feelings of others, as one helps in decision-making and cooperation with other youth workers. Emotional intelligence is the ability to process emotions; more specifically the ability to perceive, assimilate, understand, and manage emotions. It contains social skills that promote good relationships with other people (including young people, for whom they work) and can control excitement and impulses in conflict-provoking circumstances. In this way, the degradation of circumstances can be avoided, and can be constructively resolved instead.

@Karmen Murn

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