PCM Stress Management Theory of PCM

Why do we find it difficult to work or live with some people? The PCM perspective

2 foxes fighting; difficult people;

You might have felt it yourself. With some people, you can connect easily and feel like you’re on the same “weave-length”. Communicating and working together with such people simply “flows”.

With others, it’s rather hard work and tiring. It’s quite difficult to work or live with these people.

PCM‘s perspective on this matter might help you understand why this is happening and what you can do about it.

According to PCM, individual personality structure is comprised of six separate and mutually exclusive behaviours (personality) types. These are: Thinker, Persister, Harmoniser, Imaginer, Rebel and Promoter.

Each of the six types views the world and communicates differently, learns differently, is motivated differently and has a different set of behaviours when in distress.

The metaphor of a condominium is often used in teaching PCM, as it helps us visualise the composition of each unique personality structure.

Example Personality Profile: Anna

Condominium example - Why do we find it difficult to work or live with some people? The PCM perspective

When we look at the first floor of Anna’s personality condominium above, we see that she has a Harmonizer Base Personality. The Perception of base personality is our strongest influence upon how we process our environment, how we prefer to communicate with others and for others to communicate with us.

The language we use and what we’ll focus on in communication will also be the ‘language’ of our Base Personality. So will our character strengths, our preferred environments and our preferred management style.

We have all the characteristics of all the other five floors, set in a condominium and by taking our “elevator” to the floors above our Base, we can access the characteristics of those floors and use them when we interact with other people, so we can “speak the same language” and have a fruitful communication with those who have a different Base from us.

Just as in real life, we need energy to use this elevator. And the higher up a floor is in our condominium, the more energy it will require from us to use it. Also, depending on the level of energy on a specific floor (how much of the horizontal line is coloured), it might be easier (if it has more colour) or difficult (if it has less colour) to spend longer periods of time energising the characteristics of that specific floor.

We may tend to spend mor time on our lower and more energised floors, especially when our energy is low.

Keeping this in mind, how do you think it would be for Anna to interact with Christian? See his Personality structure below.

Example Personality Profile: Christian

Condominium other example 1 - Why do we find it difficult to work or live with some people? The PCM perspective

As we can see, Christian has Anna’s first two floors (Harmoniser and Imaginer) on the 6th and 5th floors of his condominium, and with very little energy on them. This will mean that using the Harmoniser or Imaginer “language” (the language of emotions for Harmonizers, or of inactions for Imaginer) will require a significant amount of energy from Christian, and he is likely to struggle to do that for long periods of time.

Similarly, Anna’s top floor (the Promoter) is Christian’s Base, so it won’t be so easy for her to “speak his language”, nor will she appreciate his direct style and action-oriented approach that comes with his Base, no matter how charming he might be.

Thus, Anna will find it difficult to work or live with Christian, and Christian will also find it takes a lot of energy to work or live with Anna. However, they can acquire the necessary skills to do this, even if it does require energy.

So, what now?

This is one situation that many of us will have encountered from time to time, when the Base floor of our Condominium is the last floor of the people we need to work or live with. We find it more difficult to work or live with such people, and really draining if we have to do it for extended periods of time. We either avoid the interactions, and when we do interact, we feel it doesn’t really work naturally even when we put in a lot of effort to make it work.

Anna and Christian 1024x576 - Why do we find it difficult to work or live with some people? The PCM perspective

Here is how PCM manages connecting with those who are not like us. We select the Channel and Perception consistent with the other persons Base Personality Type (more about Channels and Perceptions in the next article on my blog). This ‘matching’ encourages maximum transfer of communication energy.

Using the correct Channel and Perception is what we call Process, and delivering information is what we call Content. We see that how we say something is more important than what we say. And, the best part is that we don’t have to keep the Channel and Perception for the whole interaction. It’s enough to start with it and use it until we receive a crisp answer, which is a clear indication that communication is taking place.

Another good news is that practice makes it easier. It’s clear that for Anna will require some energy to connect with Christian with the Channel and Perception specific for his Promoter Base (Directive + Actions), but the more she does that, the easier it will get. The same for Christian, to connect with Anna using the Nurturative Channel and the Perception of Emotions.

By repeatedly taking our elevator and using the characteristics of the matching floor, we increase the level of energy available on that floor, much like muscles grow with exercise. In the same way, over time, we notice that it becomes easier for us to spend more time “on our upper floors”.

Where there is a will, and continuous conscious effort, there is a way!

I hope you found this article useful and thank you for reading!

[Edited on Nov. 14, 2020]

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy!


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(4) Comments

  1. Very insigthful article -really enjoyed it and it reminded me of what I have discovered over the years -thanks for posting this

    1. Magda Tabac says:

      So happy you liked this, Paul! Thank you!

  2. Great article. Thanks for clarifying.

    1. Magda Tabac says:

      Thank you so much, Ninam!
      I’m glad it was useful.

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