Process Communication Model

Three Kinds Of Lies, Three Kinds Of Crimes

What kinds of lies do you tell? Are some better than others? Are ‘white lies’ less egregious? What’s your litmus test?

I’ve discovered three kinds of lies, and they are not distinguished by what we tell others, or even by the severity of the untruth. They are determined by the myths we use to justify the lie. (more…)

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What Skeletons Are You Revealing When You Talk?

The holidays are a time of gathering with friends and family, celebrating each other and our blessings. Yet, each of us brings our own baggage, our secret beliefs that work against the spirit of OK-ness. Did you know that every time you open your mouth you are revealing your secret, even without awareness?

It’s called a “miniscript.” Discovered by award-winning psychologist, Taibi Kahler, we all have unhealthy belief patterns that affect our thoughts, feelings, and actions, playing themselves out in daily life. These patterns are first revealed and reinforced through subtle changes in sentence structure, called Drivers. Learn more about Taibi Kahler. (more…)

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Locus Of Motivation And Leadership: What Kind of President Do You Want?

With less than 100 days before the presidential primaries begin and another debate gone by, the candidate race is really heating up. Will it come down to Trump vs. Carson for the GOP? Will Jeb Bush make a run or it is too late? Does Sanders stand a chance against Clinton?

How will you decide? Is your mind made up already? What are you looking for in a candidate? Although the candidates are working hard to contrast their positions from those of their opponents, consider a different distinction that is just as important; how they are motivated towards their goals.


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Power Struggles, Negative Contact, and Police Brutality

GirlArrestedA sixteen year-old girl was forcibly removed from her South Carolina classroom by a school resource officer on Monday, October 26, 2015. Three separate videos, taken by students, are being scrutinized for evidence of police brutality. Reports say the girl had been disruptive and refused several requests by the teacher to leave the classroom. She is being charged with disruption in school.

It usually starts many hours, or days earlier with something as innocuous as fidgeting and difficulty focusing on tasks. (more…)

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Why A Thinker Won’t Get Elected President: My Analysis of Candidates – Round 2

In my previous two posts I described the four primary personality types characterizing the slate of 2016 presidential candidates, and used the Process Communication Model (PCM®) to analyze Sanders, Bush, Fiorina, Clinton, and a few others. In this post I’ll finish with my take on the rest of the slate.

Personality type is a powerful and often overlooked factor in who captures our attention and votes. Personality has nothing to do with what candidates say, and everything to do with how they say it.  (more…)

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What Do Fiorina And Sanders Have In Common? My Analysis of Presidential Candidates – Round 1

In my previous post I described the four personality types characterizing the fleet of United States presidential candidates. Using the Process Communication Model (PCM®) as a framework for analysis and prediction, here’s my take on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders, and Marco Rubio. I’ll tackle the remainder in my next post.

If you are looking for recommendations on who to vote for or an analysis of their platforms, look somewhere else. Instead, I’ll reveal a powerful and often overlooked factor in who captures our attention and votes.

Hint: It has nothing to do with what they have to say, and everything to do with how they say it.


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Politics Week! What Personality Types are Running for President?

I love politics! I care about what the candidates are talking about because I will vote for one of them to be the POTUS. Meanwhile I’m analyzing their personality.

The way a politician packages their message reveals a lot about their personality, how they view the world, what motivates them and how they will act in various situations. (more…)

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Neural Coupling, Brain Syncing, and Communication

Invited post by Kathleen Friesen, Friesen Group 

Imagine a tall glass of ice water, shimmering clear in a tall glass, ice clinking against the sides, cold to the touch, refreshing as you swallow. Although you didn’t just actually take a drink, the circuits in your brain that are used to seeing the glass, hearing the ice clink, feeling the cold surface, lifting the glass, and swallowing the water were activated as you imagined the experience.

Brains in Sync

People sit next to each other in a movie theater. As they watch the movie and experience the environment, their brain circuits fire in similar patterns. If someone in a room says the word “dog,” everyone’s brain circuits dedicated to the knowledge of dogs are activated – even though there is no dog in the room.

We know that speaking and listening is a mutual activity. Research in Interpersonal Neurobiology has been demonstrating these connections for a decade. But what do we know about more everyday conversations, ones that we might have in the break room or at the dinner table?

Princeton University researchers asked that question and designed a method to discover what happens in our brains during normal conversation. The process involved having a speaker tell an unrehearsed personal story, speaking as if to a friend or colleague. While they told the story, the researchers used an fMRI to map the speaker’s brain circuits. Then they had multiple persons listen to the recorded story while inside an fMRI.  In addition to the brain scans, the listeners were assessed for comprehension.

Neural Coupling

The scans showed that as listeners heard the story, their brains began to mirror or “couple” with the brain of the speaker. For some listeners, there was a slight delay in mirroring the speaker’s brain. But as the level of comprehension increased, the level of mirroring increased – eliminating the delay.  In the highest level of assessed comprehension, the listener’s brain scans actually preceded the speaker’s.

The experiment was repeated using the same story, but told in Russian to English speakers. The resulting brain scans showed no significant coupling in any brain region between speaker and listener. The coupling is a result of understanding each other. It is the physical and neural basis of mutual communication. Our brains synchronize when we’re communicating most effectively, we “click.”

A Tool for Better Communication

While each person’s brain is unique, the act of communication can align speaker and listener brain circuits. We know when we are “clicking” with a person or an audience. And we know when things are falling flat. How can a speaker increase the chances that the highest levels of coupling will occur?

The Process Communication Model® (PCM) offers an effective process to increase communication. It is designed to “promote understanding, recognition, prediction, and action.” When listeners are able to predict what the speaker will say next, the greatest level of brain coupling and comprehension occurs. Speakers and organization leaders can use PCM to increase the probabilities of coupling – of clicking and being in sync with their listeners. The researchers pose a challenge at the end of their original peer reviewed article suggesting that the next frontier is to find the behavioral correlates of neural coupling – in other words – what can people actually do to increase communication effectiveness and brain sync-ing? PCM might be one of the best current options available.

Hasson, U. (2010) I can make your brain look like mine. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved on Nov. 22, 2010 from

Stephens, G. J., Silbert, L. J., & Hasson, U. (2010). Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. PNAS, August 10, 2010, 32: 14425-14430.

Kathleen Friesen is a Principal at Friesen Group. She blogs at and can be reached at

Next Element is a Unites States distributor of PCM. We train PCM and certify and support PCM trainers across the country.

PocketPCMTry the app. PocketPCM is a free app for Android and iOS with tips for using the “Communication Model PCM” to improve relationships.


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