Welcome to the second part of the blog covering the process of connecting with others. As said in my previous blog, the way we connect with others and offer motivation to them is through a simple process, which, if followed methodically will lead to great results. It’s the Connection Process.
In my last blog, I covered the first part of the process: The Perceptions – or how we view, experience, and process the world through six, mutually exclusive filters: Thoughts, Opinions, Emotions, Inactions, Reactions and Actions.
Today, I will talk about the second key element of the Process of Connecting: The Channels of Communication
Simply put, Channels are interactions between two people, both of whom behaving from an “I’m OK-You’re OK” position. In PCM this position os considered to be our existential position. This is a dynamic process of connecting where we respect the communication needs of others by using the energy of their Base floor of their personality condominium. In other words, we use a flexible style of connecting, depending upon the structure of the other’s condominium.
A Channel is comprised of an offer of a specific Personality Part from one person and a response from a corresponding Personality Part from the other. Note that the offer and responses start from an observable Personality Part in each individual.
So, in order to understand Channels, we must first identify…
The Personality Parts
The Personality Parts are coherent systems of thought and feeling manifested by corresponding patterns of behaviour. These patterns of behaviour are analised by observation of five behavioural cues: words, tones, gestures, postures and facial expressions.
In PCM we talk about 5 Personality Parts (or Parts): Protector, Director, Computer, Comforter, Emoter. Each Personality Part is like different internal energies, manifested in behavioural cues. Because the first Part, the Protector, is only used in emergency situations, and in the interest of brevity, I will focus on the remaining four Parts
In order to energise our Director Part, we need to give a command, an imperative or a directive, aimed at the other’s thinking part. No anger, threats or attacks are involved.
Words that imply commands/imperatives are used when we talk from our Director: “tell”, “say”, “do”, etc. Our tone of voice is firm, but non-critical.
In order to energise our Computer Part, we ask questions. The Computer is the asking, fact finding and/or fact giving part in us. Neither emotions nor opinions are involved, no commands, imperatives or directives are issued.
Thus, any non-emotional, non-critical fact inquiring question or giving of information will be coming from our Computer.
In order to energise our Comforter Part, we assume the qualities of a warm, nurturing parent, addressing the child part of the other person, showing them that we care about them. The language of emotions will be used from our Comforter, and we’ll have soft and gentle tone, while we show an accepting and warm expression.
The Emoter is the natural OK feeling part of us, spontaneous, playful and enthusiastic. It’s like the free child in each of us, which allows themselves to enjoy life.
Our tone will be energetic and enthousiastic, with lively gestures and a child-like, playful expression.
In order to energise a certain Personality Part, we use the associated words/ tones/ gestures/ postures/ facial expressions (the behavioural cues). The more cues we use, the more successful our process of connecting will be. As a rule of thumb, we are successful in using a Part if we show three out of the five cues.
Just as we connect a certain Perception to a certain Base Personality Type, each Personality Type has a preferred Part that is used to open communication.
And to energise and use that Part, we must move to the personality floor within us that is most familiar with that Part.
Note that in the table above we can see that three different Personality Types use the Computer part: Thinker, Persister and Imaginer. They use it, however, in different ways: The Thinker uses the Computer to organise ideas and draw logical conclusions. The Persister uses it to support beliefs and values. The Imaginer uses it to help him/her do routine tasks and to organise imaginative thought.
Ok, now that we’ve looked at the Personality Parts, let’s examine the next step:
The Channels of Communication
According to PCM, the Rule of Communication is:
Communication will take place if there is an offer and acceptance in the same Channel.
What does it mean “offer” and “acceptance” in this context? This refers to making an opening from one Personality Part, directed towards a specific Personality Part in the other, is an offer. Acceptance is when the “stimulated” Personality Part responds back to the Part in the person making the offer.
This is rather like computers shaking hands as they open connecting with each other. When there is an offer and crisp response, we say there is a Channel.
When two people are in the same Channel, as described above, we say they have “communicated”.
The four channels we will explore are the Directive, Requestive, Nurturative and Emotive.
For the Directive Channel the offer is from the the Director Part of our personality and invites acceptance from the Computer part in the other. The Director Part doesn not indicate a position of superiority, it makes a directive or imperative, requiring thought from the other, before they take an action. Thus, in this Channel, one person offers a command, imperative, or directive (from their Director Part) and the other one is taking the command (responding with either the requested information or action), from their Computer Part.
Director: Tell me what you will do about this.
Computer: I will implement it tomorrow.
The Requestive Channel begins with a question (request for information) and is delivered from the Computer to the Computer. This Channel consists of a question and answer exchange. It will be composed of clear, crisp information. Feelings are not involved and questions are answered directly, like two computers exchanging data. It is generally the most used Channel in the business environment.
Computer1: What do you think is the most important aspect of this new job?
Computer 2: Logical thinking and good communication.
The Nurturative Channel begins with an offer from the Comforter Part of us (the warm, nurturing, caring and sensitive part) and acceptance come from the Emoter Part (the authentic natural feeling Part). This Channel is aimed at inviting people to experience being cared for.
Comforter: Mary, I really appreciate you and I’m glad you’re part of my team.
Emoter: Thank you, I like it here.
This Channel is like two kids being playful with one another and is an energising exchange between the playful Parts of each person. This is a non-teasing exchange that creates a non-threatening fun, child-like atmosphere.
Emoter 1: Daaahhhling! Chu look mahvelous!
Emoter 2: And I feel mahvelous, daaahhling! 🙂
Putting everything together
I was mentioning earlier, that we connect with people by using their most favourite Channel and Perception – those of their Base Personality Type. This is how we make connection and encourage communication and give life to the Process of Connecting.
In the below table, you will see the combination of Channels and Perceptions that will ensure the most efficient connection with others.
Note: the Imaginer uses the Computer Part to receive the Directive Channel. Unlike other Personality Types, no Channel is initiated from the Imaginer floor but rather, an Imaginer Base person will initiate communication by moving to a different floor within their condominium.
Note: In the chart above, we show Reflections as the Perception to use when addressing a person in an Imaginer Base. The perception for the Imaginer is Inaction, however, we use this perception when we direct them to Imagine, Reflect, Visualise, Picture etc.
Thus, in order to “activate” the Process of Connecting to better connect and communicate with:
- A Thinker Base person, I will use the Requestive Channel and the Perception of Thoughts (“What are your thoughts on the effects of the Pandemic on our economy?”)
- With a Persister Base person, I will use the Requestive Channel and the Perception of Opinions (“What are your opinions on the effects of the Pandemic on our economy?”)
- With a Harmoniser Base person, I will use the Nurturative Channel and the Perception of Emotions (“Andy, I really appreciate you and I am happy to have this opportunity to work with you.).
- With an Imaginer Base person, I will use the Directive Channel and the Perception of Inactions (Reflections) (Take this afternoon and reflect on the functions this app should have to respond to clients’ needs. Come and meet me tomorrow at 10 am and to discuss further.”)
- With a Rebel Base person, I will use the Emotive Channel and the Perception of Reactions (“Whasssuuuuppp! Man, I really like this sales conference! So much fun! Liking it?)
- With a Promoter Base person, I will use the Directive Channel and the Perception of Actions (“Tell me what will you do to win back this account.”)
Using Channels and Perceptions that are not your preference (those not of your Base Personality Type) may not come natural to you. However, energising the Parts and using the Channels and Perceptions is like a muscle, the more we train it, the better it gets. In the end, practice does make perfect and the rewards outweigh the effort involved in acquiring the skills.
I hope you enjoyed this blog!
Until next time, stay happy, stay safe, stay healthy!
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Copyright Information: Dr. Taibi Kahler holds the copyright for The Process Communication Model® and all derivative works.