A PCM-based analysis of the personality types of main Harry Potter characters

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Here comes the time for a new post on Process Communication Model (PCM) and my old-time-favourite Harry Potter :).

But, let’s start with the beginning:

Introduction – What is Process Communication Model (PCM)?

PCM is an internationally acclaimed, highly reliable, behaviourally based communication model used to individually tailor connection and motivation and build trust and rapport. PCM profiles reveal a host of insights about how a person perceives the world, how they communicate, how they are motivated and how they will behave in distress. As a valid, reliable and actionable model, PCM answers the “So what? Now what?” questions about how to communicate with different types of people.

PCM conceptualizes personality as being composed of six types, all of which exist within each of us and being arranged like the floors of a condominium (in the USA a name for an apartment building), with our core or “base” type at the bottom, moving up through each floor to the least-accessed trait at the top, or attic. Each floor has unique attributes, including a perceptual frame of reference, character strengths, communication and environmental preferences, motivational needs and highly predictable distress behaviours.

That happens because each of the six types:

  • Communicates differently
  • Learns differently
  • Is motivated differently
  • Has a different set of behaviours when in distress

Based on award-winning scientific research developed by Dr. Taibi Kahler, Process Communication has been successfully implemented by more than a million people on five continents and can be applied in a range of contexts including sales, business, education, medicine, recruitment, politics, religion, parenting, and personal relationships.

See more information about PCM and the different personality types HERE:

The Personality Inventory

People who wish to use the Process Communication Model® will first complete a questionnaire which, once processed, will enable them to discover their personality structure. The teaching metaphor of a condominium helps us to visualise the composition of each unique personality structure. Each of the six personality types is located on a single floor with the size of the bar within the floor indicating the level of energy available when the person wants to use the corresponding personality type. The metaphor of an “elevator” illustrates the person’s ability to reach all of the floors and use all of their resources.

The Base

The ground floor, called the Base, indicates the dominant, most highly developed personality type. Being able to identify another’s Base helps us to use the most effective communication channel and perception to connect with that person.

The Phase

The concept of Phase provides keys to understanding what motivates people. Satisfying the psychological needs of the Phase affects our motivation on a day-to-day basis and guides us on how to motivate self and others. Even better, it helps us to recognize when we or our communication partner enter a distress sequence and gives us the tools to tackle this situation.

This is useful for whatever context in our lives: personal relationships, sales and negotiations, education, project management, HR or simple social interactions.

Condominium - A PCM-based analysis of the personality types of main Harry Potter characters

Once one starts to understand PCM, it will become a (quite exciting) habit to identify the most energized “floors” (meaning, personality types) in someone’s personality. Doing this helps strengthen one’s understanding of PCM and the six personality types, making it easier afterwards in our day to day life to know how to better approach our conversation partners (or our team members, direct reports, line managers, life partners, children, etc.), to “speak their language”, so that we avoid miscommunication and distress and we get more things done smoothly and efficiently, while building high quality and trust-based relationships.

This is exactly the skill that we are going to train together with this blog post… and we’re going to use again some of my all-time favourite characters, in one of my all-time favourite book series/movies: Harry Potter!

We are going to analyse some of the main characters in the Harry Potter series from the point of view of their base personality type: the one that defines their perceptual frame of reference, the “currency” they use mostly in their communication, the most preferred communication channels, their character strengths, management style, motivational needs and their highly predictable distress behaviours.

As a quick reminder of the six types and their specific perceptions:
  • Thinker: they are responsible, logical & organised, preferring to deal in logic
  • Persister: They are dedicated, observant & conscientious, preferring to deal in values
  • Harmoniser: They are compassionate, sensitive & warm, preferring to deal in compassion
  • Rebel: They are spontaneous, creative & playful, preferring to deal in humour
  • Imaginer: They are imaginative, reflective & calm, preferring to deal in imagination
  • Promoter: They are adaptable, persuasive & charming, preferring to deal in charm

Note: It is quite normal that book/movie characters won’t show 100% consistency with the Process Communication Model, as, in the end, they are not real people living in the real world; they are the result of the author’s imagination, mirroring some of the features he/she found most relevant for the storyline. This is why, sometimes, it is not straightforward to pinpoint with 100% accuracy the base personality type of a character and we will not find an exact fit between the PCM personality types and a character (e.g. they might have the respective perceptions, currency, communication channel, but maybe their strengths will not fit. Or maybe they will not show the distress behaviour that we would expect for their personality phase or they will show a mix of those… in the end, they are (masterfully) “created” to express a focus on a certain character traits but they would not be fully crayoned as a complete “to-the-book” personality). But, you know what?… this doesn’t take the fun out of trying 🙂

Here we go! Let’s start the analysis!

Harry Potter – Promoter/Persister

Harry Potter fits best a combination of Promoter and Persister personality types.

Promoters experience the world through actions; they are adaptable, persuasive and charming, preferring direct communication and having an action-oriented approach. They prefer exciting and challenging environments, where they can move from group to group and are externally motivated by incidence (a lot of action in a short period of time). They can be courageous, taking high risks (which are, sometimes, not calculated), and make for great main characters in action and adventure movies (see James Bond, Indiana Jones, etc.). In distress, Promoters will withdraw support, leave others hanging and resort to manipulative tactics to create negative drama.

On the other hand, the Persister experiences the world through the perception of opinions, preferring to take in and process information through their belief system. They are conscientious, dedicated and observant, and prefer a democratic communication style with exchange of values. Persisters are internally motivated by recognition of their dedicated work and convictions. In distress, they tend to become unrealistic in their expectations of others and push their beliefs in a self-righteous and condescending manner. In the cinema world, persisters are seen in characters like Sherlock Holmes and Superman, while in history, the civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. is a good reference.

While Harry (just like any other person) is a mixture of all six personality types and in different moments and situations we see some of his other personalities being more active than that of the promoter and persister, for simplicity and easy understanding purposes, I will focus on the two most visible personality types of his.

Harry’s features (summary based on THIS Wikipedia artile):

  • According to Rowling, Harry is strongly guided by his own conscience, and has a keen feeling of what is right and wrong (persister)
  • Having “very limited access to truly caring adults”, Rowling said, Harry “is forced to make his own decisions from an early age on.” He “does make mistakes”, she conceded, but in the end, he does what his conscience tells him to do (persister)
  • According to Rowling, one of Harry’s pivotal scenes came in the fourth book when he protects his dead schoolmate Cedric Diggory’s body from Voldemort, because it shows he is brave and selfless (promoter & persister)
  • Rowling has stated that Harry’s character flaws include anger and impulsiveness (promoter); however, Harry is also innately honourable (persister)
  • “He’s not a cruel boy. He’s competitive, and he’s a fighter. He doesn’t just lie down and take abuse. But he does have native integrity, which makes him a hero to me. He’s a normal boy but with those qualities most of us really admire” (promoter & persister)
  • Throughout the series, Harry Potter is described as a gifted wizard apprentice. He has a particular talent for flying, which manifests itself in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone the first time he tries it, and gets him a place on a Quidditch team one year before the normal minimum joining age. He captains it in his sixth year. In his fourth year (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Harry is able to confront a dragon on his broomstick. We thus see a lot of action-oriented scenes, a handful of reckless actions, a full measure of courage and a yearn for challenges (promoter)

All in all… a good combination for a leader: clear values and opinions/beliefs, supported by his capacity to put them in action.

Hermione Jean Granger – Thinker

Thinkers experience the world through the perception of thoughts, preferring to take in and process information logically. They are logical, responsible and organized, and prefer a democratic communication style with exchange of information. Thinkers are internally motivated by recognition of their efficient/smart work and time structure. In distress, they tend to over think, over control, attack others for being lazy or stupid and become obsessively critical around issues of time, fairness and money. Some fictional examples include Spock from “Star Trek” and Adrian Monk of the TV show “Monk.”

Hermione’s features (summary based on THIS Wikipedia article):

  • She is an overachiever who excels academically and is described by Rowling as a “very logical, upright and good” character
  • Rowling stated that the character of Hermione carries several autobiographical influences: “I did not set out to make Hermione like me but she is…she is an exaggeration of how I was when I was younger.” She recalled being called a “little know-it-all” in her youth.
  • Hermione’s most prominent features include her prodigious intellect and cleverness. She is levelheaded, book-smart, and very logical. Throughout the series, Hermione uses the skills of a librarian to gather the information necessary to defeat Voldemort. When in doubt, it is to the library that Hermione turns. She is often bossy yet unfailingly dutiful and loyal to her friends—a person who can be counted on. Rowling stated that Hermione is a person that, “never strays off the path; she always keeps her attention focused on the job that must be done.”
  • She is questioning everything (“Nearly headless? What do you mean?”), correcting everyone for any mistakes, very proud of her work and happy when appreciated for it.
Ronald Bilius “Ron” Weasley – Rebel

Rebels experience the world through the perception of reactions, preferring to bounce off the world around them. They are spontaneous, creative and playful, and prefer a playful communication style with exchange of humour and spontaneity. They are externally motivated by a playful contact with the world around them. In distress, Rebels will not be able to think clearly, become negative and complain, and blame others for anything negative that happens. Rebels textbook examples include Merida from the movie Brave and the late Robin Williams.

Ron’s features (summary based on THIS Wikipedia article):

  • According to Rowling, Ron was among the characters she created “the very first day”. Ron is inspired by Rowling’s best friend Sean Harris. Like Harris is to Rowling, Ron is “always there” when Harry needs him.
  • The character of Ron fits many of the stereotypes expected of the sidekick; he is often used as comic relief, is loyal to the hero, and lacks much of the talent Harry possesses, at least in terms of magical power; however, he proves his bravery several times, such as playing ‘real wizard’s chess’ in the first book, and entering into the Forbidden Forest with Harry during the second book despite his arachnophobia.
  • Rowling in an interview described Ron as very funny but insensitive and immature, saying “There’s a lot of immaturity about Ron, and that’s where a lot of the humour comes from.”
  • As his first exercise with the actors who portray the central trio, Alfonso Cuarón, who directed the third film in the series, Prisoner of Azkaban, assigned them to write an autobiographical essay about their character, written in the first person, spanning birth to the discovery of the magical world, and including the character’s emotional experience. Of Rupert Grint’s essay, Cuarón recalls, “Rupert didn’t deliver the essay. When I questioned why he didn’t do it, he said, ‘I’m Ron; Ron wouldn’t do it.’ So I said, ‘Okay, you do understand your character.'”
  • He’s the one we’ll always hear saying things like “Wicked!”, “Wooowww!”, “Bloody brilliant!”, etc. All onomatopoeic forms which are very common for Rebels, as they like colourful language and even invent their own expressions.

Oh, and by the way – the Weasley twins are in a way the true definition of rebels 🙂 – highly creative and playful, always searching for the next opportunity to have fun or make fun of someone/something. One would for sure not get bored around them :).

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore – Thinker/Imaginer

I will not repeat the Thinker characteristics, as they were explained before, for Hermione. However, I can focus a bit on describing a bit the Imaginer personality type.

Imaginers are introspective and imaginative. They value direction and view the world by reflecting about what is happening. They prize privacy and their own space. Their main character strengths are their capacity to be imaginative, reflective and calm. They often observe themselves and think about life and all possible scenarios of different events. That is why they often need to be alone. When talking to people, they do not give a lot of facts. Rather, they like to analyze as many hypotheses and options as possible before reaching a conclusion. They are internally motivated by solitude: they like to spend time by themselves, reflecting. When in distress, they passively wait, withdrawing and simply “spinning their wheels”. In the movies, the character Forrest Gump is a good image of an Imaginer, while in real-life, scientists like Einstein, Tesla and writers like Agatha Christie are famous representatives of the Type. 

Dumbledore’s features (summary based on THIS Wikipedia and THIS MuggleNet article)

I must start discussing Dumbledore by saying that he is a very complex character and, as we find out in the last book/last two movies, with a certain dark past to hide. He’s had his ups and downs, and in terms of PCM types of personalities he must have “phased” various times in his life (as a very short explanation, this would mean that following some difficult situations in his life, his “phase personality” changed, meaning he started to react to new psychological needs/stressors/motivators. This would also mean that he thus energised more of his floors – personality types – making it thus easier for him to relate with and to understand a wider range of personality types / people). I stopped at the Thinker and Imaginer types as these are the ones I could see most in him, but I am open to discuss other thoughts and opinions over a (virtual) coffee 🙂

  • Considered the most powerful wizard in the world, Dumbledore is benevolent and wise, a good wizard in the style of Merlin. He almost constantly gives off an aura of serenity and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear. Yet despite his benign nature, it is said that Dumbledore was the only wizard Lord Voldemort ever truly feared (imaginer, thinker)
  • As a supremely talented wizard, Dumbledore displays numerous examples of extraordinary powers. His abilities as a wizard are combined with a kind of cunning and subtlety of mind that allowed him to comprehend human nature and turn the better aspects of humanity to Voldemort’s disadvantage in particular (thinker, imaginer)
  • He loves to spend time by himself, in his office (the Headmaster’s office), lost in thoughts, ideas, reminiscing of the past or imagining the future (imaginer)
  • Since a young age, Dumbledore has always shown great magical abilities. During his education at Hogwarts, Dumbledore was known as the most brilliant student to have ever stepped into the school, winning “every prize of note that the school offered”, and in his N.E.W.T.s, “… did things with a wand [the examiner had] never seen before”. Rowling has said that Dumbledore is primarily self-taught, although he “had access to superb teachers at Hogwarts.” While he is not vain, Dumbledore also exhibits no false modesty, readily acknowledging that he is unusually intelligent and an exceptionally powerful wizard (thinkers have as main psychological need the recognition of work, for their efficient/logical/smart way of doing things)

Additional info on Dumbledore from an interview with Jude Law, related to the launch of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but also from the previous article, show us how complex he is as a character and how he shows strengths of various personality types:

  • In preparing to play a younger version of Dumbledore – whom viewers already knew through the performances of Richard Harris and Sir Michael Gambon – actor Jude Law went straight to the source: Rowling herself. One of the most helpful pieces of advice she gave won’t seem very surprising to readers who recall Dumbledore’s kindness and sense of humor. “The one thing that came out [of my conversations with Rowling] was the sense of play. He has a youthful mercurial approach to life, but that there’s something that hangs heavy in his heart, in his past, that underlies all of that. There’s a root of good humor and good heart and sense of self and a sense of past.” (rebel influences, on a very much aware thinker – sense of self…)
  • “As I mentioned before, there’s a sense of humour and mischief (rebel), a dash of anarchy, a sense of what’s right and what he believes in (persister – values, beliefs), and a sense of mystery. There’s also how he comes around to get people onto his way of thinking — which is rather indirectly.”
  • More than anything else, Dumbledore has a deep capacity for love, frequently reminding Harry that love was the greatest magic of all. Dumbledore believes in the good in everyone and insists on giving second chances (Harmoniser). The greatest example of this is Dumbledore’s relationship with Snape, in whom Dumbledore is willing to place a considerable amount of faith because he showed remorse. Dumbledore is highly perceptive and emotionally intelligent; his knowledge of a person’s true personality goes beyond simply being a good judge of character.

This is the analysis for some of the main characters. I hope you enjoyed the reading and please feel free to leave your comments/suggestions/opinions below and ask any clarifying questions you might have. I am open to discuss if you have other opinions about the personality types J. Sometimes we all get focused on just some of the characteristics that impressed us most and fail to see other “signs” that might be relevant.

Stay happy!



  1. One must also aware that not everything can be explained through PCM. As much as I love this training and I see its utility in everyday life, we humans are way too complex beings to be deciphered through a training that is thought in only three days. The way we were educated, the culture and the society we grew in, the events in our life (happy or traumatising) all leave marks on the way we think, react, talk, behave, on the stories we build about ourselves and the world around us. Here’s to us!
  2. These thoughts and this analysis are my own and do not represent the view of Kahler Communications. I wrote it in order to offer my readers and educational and fun analysis that combines two of my most favourite things of all time: PCM and Harry Potter. I hope you will take it as such and enjoy it.
  3. None of the images of Harry Potter characters belong to me. They are property of the publishers/producers. The characters and the books/movies will always belong in my heart though :).

PS: A big reason I write is to meet people so feel free to say Hi! on Linkedin here or follow my Instagram here, as I’d love to learn more about you.

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(2) Comments

  1. Mihaela Maiug says:

    Very thoroughly documented article! And i do agree with the insights about the characters! Now it makes sense why Hermione and Dumbledore were always my favorites! 🙂 well done, Magda!

    1. Magda@ZenLife says:

      Thank you, Mihaela! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that you agree with the insights.
      And… it takes a Thinker to know a Thinker :).
      Stay happy!

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