Theme-centered interaction: A holistic approach for better cooperation and communication
The basic principles of theme-centered interaction
Postulate 1 - Be your own chairperson
Be the leader of yourself. In general, it is about representing one's own interests in the group and then, with a holistic view, the interests of the group externally. For the team member this means:
- Be the master of your own needs and impulses.
- Accept yourself as you are.
- Balance the "I should" with the "I want".
- Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations.
- Perception of yourself and others.
- Respect for others and oneself.
- Taking the environment, tasks and yourself seriously.
Postulate 2 - Disturbances have priority
If a disturbance is perceived, it is addressed, because disturbances that are not addressed and solved or eliminated tie up energy and make it difficult or prevent constructive discussions and good results.
The human is a psychobiological entity and part of the universe. On the one hand, one is autonomous (independent) and on the other hand interdependent (characterised by mutual dependencies), one has freedom of decision but is also dependent on other people. The more you are aware of and involved in interdependencies and interactions, the more choices and decisions you have.
Respect is due to all living things and to growth. Respect for growth requires evaluative decisions. The humane is valuable and the inhumane, disregarding human considerations, is threatening. The human being must find out which possible actions preserve and promote the living.
Free decision-making takes place within conditional inner and outer limits; the expansion of these limits is possible. The human can decide more freely if they are healthy, intelligent and materially secure.
Each individual "I" in the group (including the I of the leader) is to be perceived with its concerns and needs.
Attention is given to the communication and interaction in the group, which is summarised in the "We".
Another orientation to keep in mind is the "It", which represents the task to be accomplished together.
The frame of reference and the environment (Cohn calls it the "globe") in which the group is located must also be taken into account.
Application of TCI in project management
TCI is suitable for planning, controlling and also evaluating organisational projects in general, reorganisation projects within companies in particular.
In today's world, where profit-making is the top priority and daily constraints weigh on project managers and their projects, individual needs and the way of working together are more and more pushed into the background. As a result, the personal development and interpersonal relationships of team members suffer. And then project managers are also confronted with organisational projects in which their work processes are to be optimised so that they become more efficient.
If the optimisation project is already to be implemented and the courage to change is required, why not focus on the human aspects at the same time? TCI in particular can serve as a guide to optimise the way we work and interact with each other. The project manager should ask themself the question: "What is important to you in this project?". They moderate the project team to achieve a coherent result for all involved. Profitability is essential, but without humanity, a project is unbearable for those involved. We should not compromise on this.
Already in the planning stage, the project manager can take into account the two postulates, the three axioms and the four factors in such a way that there is enough room for each project team member, the client and the later user of the project services rendered to contribute themselves and their own ideas, knowledge and experience and to embed everything together in the environment of the project, i.e. to interact in a theme-centered way.