George Box was a British statistician who died in 2013 and wrote about this term in a number of his statistics articles and books in the latter part of the 20th century. However, whilst the phrase was developed during his work in statistics, his premise applies to all domains - a model is just a simplification of the real world to allow complicated or complex systems to be communicated.
"Situational awareness is understanding what is going on around us."
Situational awareness is impacted by many factors such as previous experience (what is relevant to now), our task loading, our goals, our expectations (we often don't see what we aren't expecting to see) and many other factors. While it is easy to see what 'situational awareness' is, it isn't always easy to see how it works or the model's limitations when we use a simple description like this.
Something to consider with any model if it is to be widely used to explain complex problems.
There are few things more complex than human behaviour in group environments where subtle changes to the environment or misunderstood communications can have disproportionate effects to the performance and/or relationships of those connected to that one person through the network of relationships we have. These effects impact team and individual performance and morale, and lead to significant personal distress, unfortunately sometimes with catastrophic and tragic results.
To help those involved in personal development, leadership and teamwork, models of personality and behaviour have been developed to simplify the complex nature of human relationships. The models have been used for recruitment, selection, talent development, understanding environment preferences, team co-operation, self-awareness...the list goes on. Well known personality models include MBTI, DISC and Insights, and as with any model, they have limitations.
The Process Communication Model is the same as the other models, it has limitations and approximations and it has strengths and it has weaknesses.
PCM was developed through observations of communications and interactions rather than personality theory, therefore one of its key strengths is its ability to use it with other models such as MBTI, DISC, Belbin or Insights and showing 'how' to interact with others because it links specific communications requirements with personalities and observable behaviours.
Many models, from a user perspective, pigeon-hole people. The 'user' may undertake a one-day (or more) training course which shows their personal attributes, strengths and weakness e.g. "I am an ENTJ", "I am red/blue", "I am DS", "I need to be communicated in a direct manner", "I need to have my time managed" but the training or materials don't provide a "how do I use this" to the user or to their peers/management/leadership. This poses a number of problems when it comes to the post-training environment.
The Process Communication Model does not talk about 'personalities of people' but rather 'personalities in people' and because it is communications/behaviours-based it allows you to answer all of these questions.
Over the next few weeks I will be looking at a number of the more well known models and show how you can supercharge with the Process Communication Model to enable you to provide 'how' to the 'what'.
As we can see, we are all different, no one perception is better or worse than another. The key is to understand how to connect and how to motivate each other and ourselves. The weekly articles will help you do that by providing practical means to develop high performing teams by building on the tools you already know and understand and fill potential gaps.
Models are a means to an end. They are there to simplify complex structures or systems to reduce the mental workload when interpreting reality. Personality and behaviour models all have strengths and weaknesses and sometimes it is better to combine parts from one and use it with another. Being able to apply a "how do I use this" to a model is essential if it is to be of value, both from a personal perspective in terms of time they spent during the training, but also from a business perspective where money and time away from their full-time role has been invested and some form of return is needed. There is no good in having an awesome profile if it sits in your drawer or if you need to look up your notes to see 'who you are'!
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