“Inside Out,” the hit animated movie explored the psychological state of the human mind as a handful of distinct emotions took control, driving the individual’s personality. Though it was served up as entertainment, the film creators were in fact not far off in their assessment of the inner processes of the brain and different personality types.
The Process Communication Model personality types have been used by organizations as part of sophisticated customer-service strategies. The Process Communication Model (PCM), developed by psychologist Dr. Taibi Kahler, has been embraced as a useful tool by customer-centric businesses and other organizations looking to predict customer behavior and improve communication with customers.
Dr. Kahler identified six PCM personality types: thinkers, persisters, harmonizers, rebels, imaginers, and promoters. Kahler believes that understanding the attributes of these personality structures can lead to improved workplace and organizational dynamics.
1. Thinkers are driven through logical thought processes. They are highly organized, responsible, and analytical people. Thinkers can also be controlling, critical, and over-think a stressful situation.
2. Persisters live through the perception of opinion, basing their cognitive processes on a belief system. They can also be self-righteous and unrealistic.
3. Harmonizers are emotional, experiencing the world through their emotions, and thought processes based on their feelings. Anxiety and stress can also cause them to be self-doubting and careless.
4. Rebels are reactive. They are spontaneous, creative, humorous, and playful. Rebels have the tendency to be negative, complain, and confused when faced with times of distress.
5. Imaginers’ cognition is founded on reflection. They tend to be imaginative; yet remain calm and reflective. This group also has the tendency to be withdrawn, isolated, and unproductive.
6. Promoters are motivated through action, competition, and excitement. They are flexible, persuasive, and charismatic. However, they can be manipulative and selfish.
Kahler’s PCM model was used by NASA for over 20 years in predicting behavior and selecting the most qualified astronauts for its missions. It was also used by President Clinton and General Wesley Clark to improve communication and negotiation skills. The MUSE School in California uses this technique in preparing students for the “real world.”
Mattersight (now part of NICE), a contact center software platform, uses PCM to assess a callers’ personality and pairs the caller with a complimentary agent or customer service representative. The company believes this approach creates a positive customer experience ultimately leading to better customer satisfaction.