The Process Communication Model - Personality Actually Is All Around

Love Actually, It's A Wonderful Life, Elf, A Christmas Carol……penning this blog from London and the question of "favorite Christmas movie ever" is almost as polarizing amongst friends as Brexit discussions.

Connectors, with a Superpower of Relationships and representing 30% of the North American population, are drawn to holiday movies about the "feeling" of the holidays. They are warm, sensitive and caring. "Love Actually" revolves around a cast of all personality styles; however, we know from the title that love, a most powerful feeling, is the star of the show, Connector friends swear they can "smell" Christmas in the air and they happily anticipate shopping for the perfect gifts for friends and family. They see this as an opportunity to ensure the people they care about feel loved and appreciated as a person. They will go to extraordinary lengths to secure just the right thing for that special person. I was a with a Connector friend as we walked by a "Give Happy" pop-up store and there was an immediate gasp and excited "can we go in?" To her, how do you walk by the opportunity to give someone the feeling of happy?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Organizer with a Superpower of Planning and representing 25% of the North American population. Logical, organized and responsible. By the way, these personality styles I am introducing you to today come from the Process Communication Model created by Dr.Taibi Kahler. It is the only language-based typology that connects the language people use, the way that they communicate (key words, phrases, syntax, tone/tempo) provide valuable insights into how they are hard-wired, how they view the world, what is important to them and how to connect with them. These preferences, based on personality, influence what movies we watch, what jobs we are drawn to and how we determine which companies will get, and retain, our business.


There are six personality styles in Dr. Kahler's model:

Personality SuperPower
% N.A.


Warm, Sensitive, Caring

Organizer Planning 25%
Logical, Organized, Responsible

Advisor Commitment 10%
Dedicated, Observant, Conscientious

Original Creativity 20%
Creative, Playful, Spontaneous

Dreamer Imagination 10%
Calm, Introspective, Imaginative

Doer Resourcefulness 5%
Adaptable, Persuasive, Charming

We reference the North American demographic because that is where we have the largest collection of profile data; however, the Process Communication Model is used throughout the world in many different ways. In New Zealand and Australia, there is amazing work being done about the impact of personality in the medical profession (surgery communication, bedside manner, staff interactions).  In California, we have the MUSE school, the first school built on the premise of understanding personality and how communication creates more impactful learning environments for each student in the classroom.  There are also thousands around the world whom have learned PCM as part of leadership development, organizational initiatives and communication strategies. With Mattersight's Predictive Behavioral Routing, PCM is applied to deepen understanding of customer experience and improve call outcomes. The combination of Predictive Behavioral Routing combined with Mattersight's Behavioral Analytics sets endless possibilities for businesses to not only understand their customers but also to connect them with employees best suited to address their personality style needs.

Personality Goes a Long Way

Back to the power of personality during the holidays and really, the power of the 4 most prevalent personalities as we have seen through over a billion calls analyzed:  Organizer, Connector, Advisor and Original. 

While the Connector is looking for that holiday movie about how the holidays make people feel, the Organizer is looking for a movie that has a clear direction and goal and makes sense. By the way, the Organizer will only be evaluating holiday movies if it has been scheduled and there is a plan. Consummate list-makers, this personality style is energized by work. They are planners, schedulers; they put work ahead of play. To-do lists, whether written down or in their head, keep them on track and focused on what's next. The Organizer focuses on the "how" so they need, not want but need, specific and accurate data in order to understand and categorize what they are taking in. This is why movies that meander without a clear point, holiday or not, can frustrate the Organizer. Movies such as A Christmas Carol with clear categorization of the film's progress (Ghost of Christmas Past – check; Ghost of Christmas Present – check; Ghost of Christmas Future- check) will keep this personality style more engaged. However, remember Organizers do not like surprises so schedule that viewing ahead of time.

Some people, well the 10% of the population that are Advisors, may argue that movies such as Elf cannot possibly be considered a holiday classic because they don't have all the criteria of the classics of which they will then educate you on those finer points.  Advisors, dedicated, observant and conscientious with a Superpower of Commitment, adhere to the rules. Whereas the Organizer is energized by work and the Connector organized by people, the Advisor is energized by commitment to a greater good. They are passionate about what they believe in and will support the underdog in effort to do what is right what should be done with "should" being the key word. Debate with an Advisor about holiday movie classics and learn that one of their strengths is to find the flaw in any situation. Better to go ahead and agree with them that movies such as "It's A Wonderful Life" is a classic as it is full of human spirit, something amazing that you can only find in another human being and represents the goodness in people and the possibilities. In other words, things you can believe in.  

Going back to Elf as a favorite holiday movie, there is 20% of the North American population that does find Elf, Bad Santa and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Hilarious with a capital H! Originals, creative, playful and spontaneous, have the ability to play and enjoy the moment. They live in the present and are easy going; they go with the flow. They react to situations, people and things with likes and dislikes. Using their Creativity Superpower, the Original thinks outside the box.  They color outside the lines because that's what make them unique which, by the way, is not better than anyone else, just different. Originals react to the holidays in that they love love love the season! Or they react as if it is the most miserable time ever…..!  Their holiday movie choices are the ones that make them laugh and take a different look at the world around them.  

Use the Process Communication Model to Recognize Your Customers

Do you recognize these people on your holiday shopping list? Do you recognize them as your customers?

Let's tackle them as customers first. How do we recognize them?

We use the Process Communication Model at the core of our products and as mentioned above, it is a language based typology. The language that people use and how they use it tell us about how they face off to the world. For example, the Connector who calls with an issue or problem will try to establish a relationship first with the agent. They ask "How are you?" because they really want to know. They need that personal connection. When that happens, then they know the agent will work with them to solve the problem and not make them feel inadequate. They will apologize for things outside of their control. I once heard a caller assume responsibility when her account screen didn't populate for the agent: "I'm so sorry (self-deprecating laugh). I probably entered my number wrong!" Connectors do this so that the agent doesn't think they are being blamed for the problem. They want an agent that understands this, is sincerely empathetic and friendly and takes a personal interest. "Take your time" is not an empathetic statement for a Connector; it is, however, one for an Organizer. When an agent understands that time is important to you and that you, as the caller, is their responsibility, this statement is empathy. The Organizer does not want personal chitchat; they present their issue in a logical way and include the specifics and data that they would want/need if they were in the agent's seat.

Find the Best Match for Your Customer's Superpower

As a former call center ops person, I now know that soft skills training are often a "one-size fits all" solution but our customers are not. When they self-identify to us through the language they chose and we respond to what we hear, these connections make a difference for customers and businesses. We know:

  • Connectors initiate a personal connection and a spirit of "we'll do this together";
  • Organizers expect a professional, impersonal interaction focused on specific data and next steps;
  • Originals want you to make it easy for them by keeping it light-hearted and being supportive;
  • Advisors needs a respectful connection that recognizes loyalty and commitment;
  • Dreamers need you to direct them as to exactly what to do;
  • And the last 5%, the Doers, want you to negotiate and make them a deal.

We don't want to match like for like because we know that this does not ensure an automatic positive outcome.  The best case scenario is pairing a customer's personality style with the agent best suited to handling that caller's communication preferences based upon the agent's prior performance with each personality style. (To learn more about Predictive Behavioral Routing, click here.)

And now for the perfect gift ideas for all personalities on your list:

Organizers with the Superpower of Planning; think numbers, data & efficiency:

  1. A wearable fitness tracker
  2. A Label Maker
  3. A monthly gift subscription toSpark Hustle & Grow (for the female Organizer in your life)

Predicted Behavioral Response: "Interesting. Practical and informative – thank you."

Connectors with the Superpower of Relationships: think caring, comfort & togetherness:

  1. Personalized note cards with envelopes
  2. A cozy robe orslippers, comfy throw or scented candle
  3. An OpenTable gift card for two

Predicted Behavioral Response: " I love it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You're the best!"

Advisor with the Superpower of Commitment:  think respect, recognition and doing the right thing.

  1. Give them an experience they can learn from!  Maybe a cooking class instead of a cook book.
  2. A donation to a favorite charity or other gifts thatgive back
  3. A "World's Greatest X"mug, mousepad or t-shirt

Predicted Behavioral Response: "This gift really shows you understand what is important to me.  My sincerest thanks."

Original with the Superpower of Creativity: think fun, funny & easy.

  1. A 3D Printing Pen for building totally cool things!
  2. A ThinkBoard for those creative epiphanies
  3. An Echo Dot for joke of the day and to make life easier! 

Predicted Behavioral Response: "Yesssss! This is awesomesauce!!!"

Doer with theSuperpower of Resourcefulness: think big, bold and bragging rights.

  1. A first-class upgrade on their next flight
  2. High-end logo accessories to flaunt
  3. A bottle of their favorite top shelf alcohol with self-chilling glasses.

Predicted Behavioral Response: "Nailed it!"

Dreamer with the Superpower of Imagination: think peace, quiet and alone time.

  1. Thickwool socks for cold winter nights
  2. Bose noise-cancelling headphones to tune out the world
  3. A journal to catch the imaginative musings

Predicted Behavioral Response: "Thanks…"

And for all of your personality parts:

May the planning you do this holiday season for friends and family bring laughter and joy as we embrace old and new traditions, wish peace and calm for the world and bottom-line, celebrate the good times! Happy Holidays.