Theory and Change
Most of the “work” of human systems and the decisions made there take place in face-to-face discourse. Communicative competency – the understanding of the structure of face-to-face communications in human systems – is the key to sound decision-making and to creating the most effective and efficient process. Communicative competency leads to a system’s preferred outcomes and desired results.
Breakdown in communication is the bane of nations, institutions, business leaders and their subordinates, organizations and their teams, families, couples, and their children. David Kantor has spent decades investigating how communication works and how it breaks down when it matters most. When effective communication matters most is in situations of high stakes.Kantor has systematically studied teams, families, and couples in low, medium, and high stakes situations. From this research he has derived a theory of the structure of face-to-face communication applicable in all human systems. And from 45 years of testing this ever-evolving theory in clinical contexts as therapist and organizational consultant, he has created a Practice Theory whose effectiveness can actually be measured. Hence, the Institute’s definitive watchword and phrase: Evidence–Based Results.
The Behavioral Propensities Profile (BPP)
The Behavioral Propensities Profile (BPP) is an instrument which helps individuals and groups discover their own behavioral tendencies — the typical ways that they interact with other individuals, with groups and in their organizations in face-to-face communication. Knowing the tendencies of an individual or the individuals within a group can be essential to creating a lasting change in their performance. The BPP uses a structural language system that deconstructs human interaction into its most basic elements, and links internal behavioral drivers with observable behaviors in the room.
Once individuals become aware of these behavioral tendencies, they have the opportunity to reshape their future behavior.
The results of the Behavioral Propensities Profile describe an individual’s common behavioral tendencies and the associated talents and traps of that profile. It also provides tips to help individuals avoid the most common pitfalls associated with their profile. In addition, if individuals within a common group take the instrument, an aggregate group report can be generated that describes how the individuals’ profiles add up to a collective profile.
Structural Dynamics and the 4-Player Model
Structural Dynamics is a theory about how and why communication in face-to-face contexts either succeeds or fails. It hypothesizes that a limited and tightly rooted repertoire contributes to failure in communication and that a fluid and expansive repertoire contributes to success. Expanding your repertoire — knowing when to deploy more of the behaviors available to you as described by the theory — is the change goal cited above.
Both coaches and executives interested in real change through understanding of structural dynamics must create their own practice model. Our materials and programs are designed to aid them in this unique approach.
The 4-Player Model
The Four-Player Model is the core concept of David Kantor’s theory of Structural Dynamics. Said by many to be the consummate practitioner’s tool for identifying and modifying communication structures that take place "in the room," The Four-Player Model has been described as “useful, efficacious, concise, practicable.” The Model holds that in all interactions between people, there are four and only four types of speech acts that can be made in conversation. Many communication problems occur when individuals become "stuck" and over-use only one action mode again and again, or when certain combined sequences of actions become entrenched in interactions and occur repetitively, undermining group learning and effective decision making.