“From the Wabash,” PCM Revisited
By Dr. Ryan Donlan
Department of Educational Leadership
Bayh College of Education
Indiana State University
In September of 2012, I shared one of our first ISU Ed. Leadershop articles highlighting Taibi Kahler’s Process Communication Model® (PCM) entitled, “From the Wabash, Now Worldwide.” As I think ahead to an upcoming report I’ll deliver in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this October regarding the model’s research worldwide (and not knowing who had the chance to log-in prior), I thought a Leadershop update would be timely.
What follows is the original article, updated with additional information for consideration.
In 1969, a Purdue University Ph.D. student in psychology, Taibi Kahler, was interning at a mental health facility in Northern Indiana. While there, he became interested in the psychological theories of Transactional Analysis (Kahler, 2008).
Shortly thereafter, Kahler created an inventory to collect data for his dissertation on predicting academic underachievement. While performing an analysis to study his instrument’s validity, he noticed data falling into six mutually exclusive clusters that later served as the basis for a theory on personality structure (Kahler Communications, Inc., n.d.; Kahler, 2008).
The uniqueness of Dr. Kahler’s discovery was that human behavior could be identified, second-by-second, as being productive (communication) or non-productive (miscommunication) with both patterns sequential, measurable, and predictable.
For this discovery, Dr. Kahler was later awarded the 1977 Eric Berne Memorial Scientific Award and honored by more than 10,000 of his clinical peers from 52 countries as having provided the MOST SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY IN THE FIELD OF PSYCHOLOGY (Kahler, 2008).
Dr. Kahler’s discoveries in the field of communication assisted NASA for decades in the selection of astronauts and have enhanced the business of global corporations. His discoveries have assisted practitioners in the fields of therapy, health care, and education. Because of the power and relevance of his theories, Dr. Kahler served as communication advisor to President William Jefferson Clinton and provided psycho-demographic polling analysis for his campaigns.
In 2012, two colleagues and I conducted a formal validity study on Kahler’s Personality Pattern Inventory (PPI), an instrument that analyzes one’s personality structure. We performed a statistical factor analysis on data from over 53,000 persons. This research affirmed PPI’s validity and reliability (Ampaw, Gilbert, & Donlan, 2012), as we first reported in Vienna, Austria, with experts from Europe and Oceania, as well as Dr. Kahler, in attendance.
This week, I’ll present some information on Dr. Kahler’s model at a transnational conference for an international group. It is all quite sophisticated theoretically, yet can be unpacked nicely in its leadership applications. It seems as though PCM is garnering even more relevance worldwide, as we now live, play, and work, both locally and globally.
What is ironic is that Kahler current enjoys a relatively low-profile status in education: Known throughout the world for his contributions in bringing people together … having changed the lives of millions through his books and seminars … a member of four international high-IQ societies … and delightfully humble in spite of all this – Dr. Kahler, is currently “not” on most American educators’ “Who’s Whom” lists.
Yet, he should be.
The Process Communication Model’s impact on professional and personal experiences of persons from around the world is most certainly one that bears a closer look, as for one thing, it is “a catalyst” for better student achievement in our schools (Donlan, 2013).
Items possibly of interest:
PCM is a subtle, yet sophisticated method of differentiated communication that can minimize drama and maximize togetherness;
PCM is a model that allows for deeper understanding of other people, within seconds of meeting them, from diverse backgrounds or cultures;
PCM allows us to communicate more effectively, so that others can understand our good intentions.
If you decide to study the model further, a number of open-source articles exist, and I can direct you to them. I’d love to get your thoughts, feelings, and opinions, as we share reactions, reflections, and even some actions that we can take toward better understanding of local, and global, relationships.
Ampaw, F. D., Gilbert, M. B., & Donlan, R. A. (2012, August). Verifying the validity and reliability of the Personality Pattern Inventory. Paper presented at the 4th International Congress on Process Communication, Vienna, Austria.
Donlan, R. (2013). The Process Education Model (PEM): A catalyst for school improvement. Journal of Process Communication, 1(1), 45-67.
Kahler Communications, Inc. (n. d.). Personality Pattern Inventory validation procedures. Little Rock, AR: Author.
Kahler, T. (2008). The process therapy model. Little Rock, AR: Taibi Kahler Associates.
Dr. Ryan Donlan is involved in research and training in the Process Communication Model (PCM) and the Process Education Model (PEM) and wishes to partner with corporate groups or with K-12, college, and university educators who are interested in research on professional development and learning outcomes in their organizations.