Process Communication Model

Cross-Cultural Communication With Different Personalities

Recently, I was interviewed by Melissa Lamson for an article in Inc. Magazine about how to deal with difficult personalities, particularly when there’s overlap between cross-cultural contexts and personality. I grew up in Africa as the son of missionary parents, spending a great deal of time experiencing and exploring cross-cultural communication. More recently I’ve specialized in the Process Communication Model (PCM) a global communication model that’s being taught in more than 30 countries around the world. When I teach master classes in my role as a PCM Certifying Master Trainer, and at international PCM trainer conferences, I get to compare notes on how personality and communication interface with culture. (more…)

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Can Your Behavior Model Do This? Tips For Evaluation And Selection

In the two decades I’ve been working with people around behavior change, I’ve been exposed to a lot of models, from personality models, to change models, to conflict models, even models I’ve made up myself because nothing else seemed to work. What they all have in common is they claim to unlock the key to behavior change.

A model is any system or framework that attempts to organize knowledge in a more understandable and useful way. I assume the purpose of a model is to help common folk like you an I make sense of complicated stuff so we can be more effective in our lives. For me the real question becomes, “Does it make sense and am I more effective using it?” (more…)

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This Is Your Brain On Communication

This Ted talk by Princeton University neuroscientist is a fantastic overview of the cutting edge research on how different people’s brains respond to communication. Very much worth the 14 minutes, you will be surprised by some provocative discoveries to questions such as;

  • What components of human interaction predict whether people will connect, remember, and experience the information you are communicating?
  • How can the smallest tweak in communication prejudice another brain to selectively hear and remember a certain slant on reality?


Over 40 years ago a developmental psychologist by the name of Taibi Kahler discovered and mapped the behavioral correlates of interpersonal communication and identified six distinct personality types. These types are distinguished by the process of how they communicate, thus the name Process Communication Model. His discovery has been used by NASA, a past US president, Pixar Studios, and thousands of leaders around the world. PCM training covers some concepts that relate directly to Hasson’s research:


The filters we all carry with us that predispose a person to experience and interpret reality in a specific and predictable way. Adapting communication to match another person’s perception greatly increases connection, rapport, and the likelihood that a person will respond positively to communication.

For example, a person who’s primary perception is Thoughts will be predisposed to data, information, and time frames. They will look for logical patterns in things, and seek to understand the world by organizing it in rational ways.

A person who experiences the world through Feelings, however, will be predisposed to connection, relationships, and emotional signals. They will consult their heart and gut for information about how people are feeling.

These two people will experience the same situation, story, or event in dramatically different ways. A communicator wishing to sync with them will speak differently to each one.

Parts of Communication

Parts are the constellation of behavioral cues (words, tones, postures, gestures, and facial expressions) that must be combined in specific ways to sync with different personality types. Kahler discovered that the more personality-specific behavioral cues that are present, the more likely that effective communication will occur.

Channels of Communication

Channels are the mechanics of how perceptions and parts are combined to communicate with any other person. The power of channels is that they are not only a strategy for improved communication, they are also a diagnostic tool for recognizing when “syncing” is not happening, and what to do next to make adjustments.

For example, some people prefer the Requestive Channel, a channel that exchanges information through curious questions. Other people prefer to communicate with the Emotive Channel which includes lively and upbeat exchanges of reactions. Using the Requestive Channel with a person who prefers Emotive may get a response such as “I don’t know,” or “Nothin’.” Using Emotive with a person who prefers Requestive may get a confused look or they may even disengage.

PCMPeopleCircleNext Element is a world-leader in the training and certification of the Process Communication Model. We teach PCM because it goes far beyond other models of communication and individual differences to actually teach people the skills to synch with others. Give us a call to learn more.

Copyright 2017, Next Element Consulting, LLC,  All rights reserved

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It’s Not About The Orange!

Sharing an orange at breakfast seems like an innocuous situation.

Even the most mundane interactions offer opportunities for miscommunication because often it’s not what you say, but how you say it, that makes all the difference.

In this video I deconstruct what happens when two different personality types miscommunicate around something as simple as sharing an orange. Has anything like this ever happened with you?


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Six Kinds Of Procrastinators, And How To Help Them Deliver

In college I used to put off studying, often until the night before the exam. Why? You might be surprised. Not because I was worried. Not because I was lazy. Not because I didn’t like studying. Not even because I had more interesting things to do. Nope. I did it because it didn’t get exciting enough until time was running out. Call me crazy, but I did my best work under the gun.

Observe several people procrastinate and they may look similar on the surface. They put off making decisions or completing important tasks, and that’s a problem. It delays progress, holds others up, and increases the chance of mistakes. Why do people do this?

It may be easy to jump to the conclusion that procrastinators are lazy or lack discipline. Very often nothing could be further from the truth.


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Tackling Workplace Conflict: Research And Best Practices To Stop The Drama

On average, employees around the world spend about 2.1 hours per week, or over one day per month, dealing with workplace conflict in some way. In the US, that number is higher (2.8 hrs/week) equating to approximately $359 billion in paid hours. Non-profit sectors experience the most workplace conflict, with nearly 48% of employees reporting conflict at work.

What is the actual prevalence of conflict in the workplace, what causes it, and what opportunities are there for positive changes? To answer this, I’ve studied the most comprehensive workplace conflict research I could find, a 2008 study commissioned by CPP Inc., one of Europe’s leading business psychology firms, and Fellipelli, one of South America’s leading business psychology firms. The study included survey data from 5000 employees at all levels of their companies in nine countries around Europe and the Americas and remains some of the most comprehensive and useful research available. Here’s a summary. (more…)

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The Map Is Not The Terrain

Have you ever gotten lost while following your SatNav GPS?

I bet you were so intent on the turn by turn navigation and watching the map that you missed valuable street signs, landmarks, and other signals that would have let you know you were off course.

Here are some models that sent a lot of people and resources down the wrong path. Did you know;

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My Top Five Blog Posts of 2016

Happy New Year! I am so grateful to all my blog subscribers for reading what I post and sharing your comments. Many of my articles have been inspired by comments, questions, and stories you share.

In case you missed these, or want to read them again, here are the top five articles of 2016, based on traffic and interaction with these posts on our website.

#5 – Four Uncomfortable Truths About Feelings

Emotional intelligence is where it’s at. If you are on Twitter, search #StartAtOpen to see all the research, stories, and tips relating to the power of creating a safe emotional space for yourself and others.

#4 – When Personality Meets Communication

This article gained steam faster than any other one this year. It is fourth on the list and was only published in October. Thanks to all the PCM trainers and enthusiasts out there for sharing and liking it.

#3 – Neural Coupling, Brain Syncing And Communication

This article is not as technical as the title might imply, yet it’s full of cool science. I geek out when I realize that teaching people how to match perceptions and close channels literally helps re-wire the brain in more healthy ways. Yeah, we can change the world one person, one interaction, one neural pathway at a time!

#2 – Leadership And Manipulation: Donald Trump Case Study, Part 1

I picked on Trump quite a bit last year. This year my commitment is to be less critical of politicians, and more focused on using well-known figures as learning examples. There’s a second part to this one.

#1 – Six Personality-Based Reasons Why Trump Is Unfit To Be President

Far and away the most clicked and shared article of 2016. I wonder why? Will my predictions prove to be true? Who knows? He keeps surprising us every day. Regardless, there are some great tips in this article for understanding personality differences in and out of distress.

Thanks for letting me into your life! Looking forward to a fabulous 2017!

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2017

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Year End Thank Yous: How You Say It Matters

It’s year-end, time to thank everyone for their contribution to your company. Whether you show appreciation every day, or do it once a year in the year-end paycheck, how you show your appreciation can make a big difference on whether employees truly “feel the love.”

There are six different personality types, each with their own type of motivational needs. Feeding those needs is the best way to say THANK YOU in a way that hits home for them. Anything else just isn’t the same. (more…)

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When Personality Meets Communication

Recently at an international conference for Process Communication Model® (PCM) Master Trainers, I was inspired by a presentation by two friends and colleagues of mine who trainer PCM in Germany and Austria. They provided a terrific contrast between models of personality that typecast people, and models of communication that teach people how to communicate for better relationships. I asked these PCM gurus to share their perspective in this guest post. Thank you to Uwe Reiner-Kolouch & Rainer Musselmann for sharing your wisdom and experience. (more…)

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