In Process Communication Model (PCM), Phasing is one of the most interesting processes. It explains changes in our behaviours and motivational needs over time, as well as long-term distress behaviours we exhibit at times.
The motivation for writing this blog post comes from the discussions that always start in a PCM training after participants are handed their PCM profile and discover that they have or have not Phased. What does it mean for me? Is it better to have phased? Am I better if I phased? Am I better if I haven’t?
PCM is very clear in its view that we are all worthwhile (OK). All Personality Types are just as OK as the others. We are just different. Not having phased it’s OK, just as having phased it’s OK. We’ve just been through different experiences. We can all build our own journey to personal development and increased self-awareness, indifferent of we have phased or not.
If you are not familiar with PCM, I invite you to read this article about The concepts of Base and Phase in PCM.
Therefore, the concept of Phase provides keys to understanding what motivates people and also what stresses them, as it helps us understand what is the main psychological need that we experience in that phase of our life.
At the beginning of our lives, our Base = our Phase. One’s Phase can change once or more times through one’s life, in certain conditions.
Only around one-third of the US population doesn’t go through a Phase change in their lifespan… the rest – two-thirds of the population – will experience such Phase change at least once in their life.
A Phase change occurs most often when an individual is presented in life with a situation that triggers an unresolved issue, resulting in long-term, intense distress. This distress period is referred to as ‘Phasing’.
After working through this and experiencing the often painful, but healthy underlying feelings (e.g., grief, in the case of the Thinker; fear in the case of Persister, etc.), a person will have a new Phase – that of the next floor of his or her condominium.
The Personality Type of that next floor, whatever that might be, will become that person’s new Phase Personality Type. It will now determine what the new Psychological Needs (personal and professional motivations) are, as well as the new corresponding Distress Sequence the person experiences.
Also, one thing to remember: we cannot force ourselves to phase. This is not in our control. What we can control is how fast we go through the process of phasing… how fast we work through those issue emotions.
PCM is not a ‘growth model’ as Phasing is not a goal in and of itself.
However, there are some advantages to Phasing:
- If we have Phased, we will be more sensitive to and intuitive about the specific Psychological Needs and Distress Sequence of that Phase.
- We will also spend more time on that specific ‘floor’ of our condominium, thus perceiving the world through the specific perception and showing with more facility the characteristics of that Personality Type.
Nevertheless, there are also a number of advantages to not having Phased:
- We will not have had the disruptive, negative behaviour and its consequences in our personal and professional lives. And this is a big thing, as sometimes, the phasing distress one experiences can take up to two years and can be, at times, harmful to work or personal relationships.
- We can further develop (energise) the floors above our Base by consciously adapting our communication and behaviour to match the characteristic of the specific floors. We can do that by exposing ourselves to people who have a personality structure different than ours. Practicing the perceptions, currencies, strengths, interaction styles of the floors that are not our base will help us energise them. It takes time, but it is a more stress-free method of developing our personality.
I hope reading this brought some clarity to your PCM journey.
Thank you for reading,
PS: A big reason I write is to meet people so feel free to say Hi! on Linkedin here as I’d love to learn more about you.
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