Process Communication Model

Taibi Kahler is terrific a psychologist guy, who started with Transactional Analysis  and added some other concepts to it, which resulted in the PCM (Process Communication Model), which is may be one reason why PCM sounds quite close to TA, but has a different angle to it – may be it is more simplified, as contraririly to TA PCM it is a non clinical personality assessment tool.
PCM was used by by NASA in order to check different profiles of astronauts for missions – quite essential job. Also PCM was and is used by politicians such as Bill Clinton to write their speeches. – So yes there is little hazard in communication, if you want to achieve something with it.

The purposes of PCM are:

  • To know oneself better and to understand how one interacts with the world
  • To identify the most effecive communication style with someone
  • To predict and describe a person’s distress behaviours and as a consequence to find ways to deal with her/his agony in order to eliminate “noise”

PCM as a model basically sorts people into 6 different types with 6 fundamentally different ways of perception of the world around them:


People, whose perceptions are based on thoughts, value facts.

They view the world by identifying and categorizing everything, including people.

They worship data and information. – They are sometimes painfully logical as logic is their currency.

Thought – people make about 25% of the population (75% men/25%women)

These gals are logical, organized and responsible and they strive for recognition of their work and always try to structure time.

They often will use the following words:

I think…, What options…, Does that mean…, Who, What, When, Where…,

… and they strive for facts and infomation


People, whose primary perceptions are based on opinions, value trust.

The way they view the world is by evaluating paople and situations through a system based on beliefs. They worship loyalty and commitment.

Values are their currency.

Opinions – they make about 10% of the population (75%men 25% women)

These people are dedicated, observant and conscientious and strive for recognition of their work/contribution and the recognition of their conviction

Key words to them are …in my opinion, I believe…, … commitment, … dedication, … trust, … respect


Those, whose primary perceptions are based on emotions value relationships.

The way they view the world is by feeling about people and situations. They worship family and friendship.

Compassion is their currency.

Emotions – people make about 30% of the population (25% men. / 75% women)

These people are compassionate, sensitive and warm and need the recognition as a person. They are very sensory. (?)

Key words to them are: I care…, I like…, … sad, … happy


Those, whose primary perceptions are based on reactions value fun.

Their view to the world is based on their reaction to people and situations with likes and dislikes. They worship spontaneity and creativity. Humor is their currency.

Reactions – people make about 20% of the population (40%men / 60% women)

These people are spontaneous, creative and playful and need recognition through playful contacts

Key words to them are: WOW!, full slang phrases, I love…, I hate…


Those, whose primary perceptions are based on imagination, value direction.

Their view to the world is based on the reflection on what is happening. They worship privacy and their own space. Imagination is their currency.

Imagination people make 10% of the population (40%men / 60% women)

These people are reflective, imaginative and calm. They need solitude.

Keywords to them are: I imagine…, I see…, It comes to mind…, I need to reflect…


Those, whose primary perceptions are based on actions value initiative.

The way they perceive the world is by experiencing situations and making things happen. They worship adaptability and self-sufficiency. Charm is their currency

Action poeple make 5% of the population (60%men / 40% women)

These people are charming, adaptable and persuasive. They need excitement.

Keywords to them are: Bottom line…, The objetive is…, Make it happen…, Go for it…, Challenge…

The mode of perception classifies people into different profiles:

Thoughts – Thinker – Recognition of Competence / structure of time
Opinions – Persister – Recognition of Contribution / recognition of conviction
Emotions – Harmonizer – Recognition of person / sensory
Reactions – Rebel – Playful contact
Imagination – Imaginer – Solitude
Actions – Promoter – Incident

Rarely people are purely one profile, but they are a mix out of the six with some predominant ways of perceptions. This will e.g. reflect in the professions they have chosen, the way they “tick” and it will also depend from their cultural background (see Hostede and Trompenaars).

So matter of fact – the more you spend time with psychology, cultural studies and humans as such the easier it will be to talk to them in a way so that they will listen. At the end of the day it is all about eliminating noise in communication and to find ways to quickly come to a state where the communication partner feels at ease, so that a message can be passed through.

So, when we talk of distress and agony when adressed in the “wrong” or not natural way, we actually mean “noise”. This “noise” expresses in behaviours and expressions of the person you communicate with – Please let me give you some hints and be invited to do a reality check on them:

The thinker when distressed:

1st degree – Starts using big words, be hyper detailed. As a Manager he stops delegating.
2nd degree. -Becomes frustrated and critical around time and those who do not think. He will start to micro-manage.
3rd degree – Not able to think logically. Feeling of being worthless. Pushes others away.

The Persister when distressed:

1st degree – starts using big words, starts asking complicated questions. As a Manager he will start to notice only what is wrong.
2nd degree – starts “preaching”. Becomes suspicious and critical of those who do not believe like him.
3rd degree – Doesn’t trust anyone. Abandons all others.

The Harmoniser when distressed:

1st degree – wants to please. Overadapts to other needs, looses self confidence. As a Manager he does not make firm decisions as needed.
2nd degree – Starts to make silly mistakes. Starts to self criticize and invites criticism from others.
3rd degree – Their environment becomes dirty or disheveled. They let themselves go. Gets rejected.

The Rebel when distressed:

1st degree – Makes efforts to understand. As a Manager he delegates inappropriately.
2nd degree – Starts to blame. Becomes negative and complaining. Easily bored and vengeful.
3rd degree – “I’ll show them” attitude. Gets excluded.

The Promoter when distressed:

1st degree – Stops helping others. Expects others to figure out themselves. As a Manager he stops offering support and lets people be on their own.
2nd degree – Starts to manipulate. Starts arguments. Ignores or breaks the rules.
3rd degree – Abandons others.

So now, do you remember the percentages of the repartition of the various profiles within the population? – hereunder you will find the conclusion of it, please be aware that PCM is not a clinical methodology and that for people’s behaviours very rarely yes or no exists – mostly shades of grey describe behaviour and mindset best. Nevertheless it might be quite a good thing to prepare yourself accordingly:

share in population



























Thus we could deduct:

% of population

each x-th person visiting is:



































I took a 50/50 repartition of genders.

In that case you might say that every 3rd male customer entering a Boutique has a strong shaping towards THINKER, almost every 2nd female customer is strongly influenced by the HARMONIZER- profile.

And so on…

So let me deepdive on the Thinker and the Harmonizer

The Harmonizer

Compassionate, warm and sensitive.

Close, genuine, and attentive relationships are quintessential in his / her motivation.

May be the cliche of the traditional MOTHER-figure

The Harmonizer looks at the world through a filter of emotions and feelings; it is an intuitive personality type generally speaking in difficulty when having to rationally explain his/her intuition (I can’t find the right words…, I don’t know how to explain…, … that’s how I feel it!)

The harmonizer has the wellbeing and satisfaction of the communication partner as a priority.

As a Manager the harmonizer will undertake almost everything to create a warm and friendly team atmosphere – kind of a caring management style.

If you want them to do something you need first to understand their feelings and then encourage them with warmth. Offer authentic moments of closeness.

Under stress they tend to overadapt and over care, is not able to say “no” anymore. Under even more stress they feel as victims, agree to almost everything and will make stupid mistakes leading to a loss of credibility

To get in touch with them you have to be genuinly interested in them – listen attentively, be compassionate in difficult moments, seek cordially for solutions together which will enable progress. Assure your support and your availability.

The driver for a harmonizer is the way they act naturally: “I will be ok as long as I…       …please (others)”

Words: may be, Kinda, You know…

Tones: sometimes a little whining, pitch rises at the end of the sentence (turning everything into a question)

Gestures: head nodding, chin tucked in, open handed (arms forward palms up)

Postures: Shoulders in and rounded, Head and often body leaning towards the other

Facial expression: Smiling, raised eyebrows, timid, looking up from under the eyebrows

Overall behaviour: overadapts to others, becomes indecisive

Example: “Oh I don’t mind what we do tonight you say…”

The Thinker

Logical, responsible and organized

To reach an objective is quintessential

Facts and measurable, verifiable information are key to them

Think, analyse, act

May be the cliche of the traditional FATHER-figure

In Management he needs a democratic style and also manages with a democratic style. To consult and be consulted, to inform and be informed is the basis of their communication style in live and business.

If you want to freak them out be unexpected, improvised and fuzzy.

If you want them to act provide them with all the information THEY need, ask for their analysis, structure and plan steps – they most likely are process oriented.

When stressed they attempt to be perfect and overdetail and overinform, to then over-control in several verfifications of the same situations. Consequently they loose trust and impose their methods. At a certain stage frustration, anger and attack will define their actions.

To talk to them on their level – get to the point.

Give necessary information and precision to what you say.

Be punctual, sharp and do not waste time.

Emphasize on details and develop precise steps based on data.

Clear objectives ideally proposed by them have to be set.

The driver for a thinker is the way they act naturally: “I will be ok as long as I…       …am perfect (for others)”

Words: overexplains

Tones: measured

Gestures: punctuating with fingers or hand

Postures: robotic, measured, minimalistic

Facial expression: stiff

Overall behaviour: overthinks for others, reversely delegates (taking back delegated work)

Example: “Well, what I intended to suggest, or that is to say, what I will propose as a solution, or at least as a temporary partial solving the problem…”

And now go back to the last post on Transactional analysis and remember the ego-states – Mother and Father are almost completely coherent with the critical (CP) and the nurturing parent (NP). Enjoy working with these models it can be a source of huge inspiration as you really start to work with people on behaviours and try to influence them.


Cheers and talk to you soon – Ubu

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