In 1978. NASA launched a spacecraft program. A lead psychiatrist at NASA, dr. Terry McGuire was responsible for assessing the psychological readiness of the astronauts selected for a mission. It was a very difficult task because you can’t just take a couple of extremely talented, smart and self-confident people into the aircraft and send them to space.

A spaceship cabin can be a very stressful environment, where astronauts are demanded to have high emotional intelligence, teamwork, physical and mental readiness, and psychological agility. Managing emotions and stress management are also some of the key things to keep in mind.

Just at that time, Terry McGuire met Taibi Kahler, an eminent psychologist who based the empirical research on the Process Communication Model. Therefore, Terry considered the PCM model to help him choose the right candidates.

Taibi attended the interviews and significantly contributed to the astronaut’s selection process. Taibi was using the PCM model to evaluate each of the astronauts in only 10 minutes of the interview. In those 10 minutes, Thaibi would make notes on paper, and then put the paper down to the end of the interview. McGuire needed a lot more time for that, a couple of hours.

By comparing the notes after the completion of the interview, it was found that Taibi learned much more for 10 minutes with PCM than McGuire in a few hours.

From that moment on and for the next 20 years (until McGuire has retired), PCM becomes the primary tool for selecting and evaluating candidates in NASA. The use of a PCM model was crucial in six critical missions in which where were marked problems with interruptions of the connection between the aircraft and the base.

Thanks to PCM, McGuire could predict the escalation of astronauts stress in certain situations, and under what circumstances this will happen.

How important this model is, we can see from the fact that it has been used by the White House for a long time, and today directors, managers, owners of Fortune 500 companies, well-known psychologists, and Pixar studio apply this methodology.

 

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