Tackling Engagement - Core Skills

“Intraquest was inspired by personal challenge, renewed hope and transformation. With this we wholeheartedly believe there are no ‘hopeless people’, just people lacking hope!” JEN & KAREN


Tackling Engagement - Core Skills

drawing of two heads connected

Course Aim

In our professional roles, engagement is generally sought after with the sole purpose of bringing about behaviour change. 

If we view the process of engagement like a house, with the roof being our ultimate goal, we can see that we have some work to do before we get to this aspect of the build. Foundations are always the first to be laid with any building project and if these are not well set before the structured work begins the results will be unstable. 

Our clients are often facing huge challenges and if we are to engage them successfully and move them towards positive change, the foundations of the relationship must be strong. Experience has shown us that an empathic, ‘relationship-based’ approach is the most robust and, once this is set, we are in a much stronger position to develop rapport, communicate effectively, motivate, challenge and lastly to bring about positive behaviour change. 

This two day training course will take participants through the journey of developing a robust, trusted, professional relationship and equip them with all the necessary skills and techniques to move a person successfully through services having achieved desired outcomes. Specific attention is paid to attachment theory and three key developmental deficits commonly found in clients struggling to engage; namely emotional literacy, emotional regulation and problem solving.  

The aim of this trusted relationship is to enable practitioners to take a strength-based approach, working restoratively ’alongside’ service users to increase independence, confidence and self-esteem. 

This award-winning* training is delivered by experts in the field of reflective practice, therapeutic practice, behaviour change and relationship dynamics. 

* Silver Award, Best Public Sector Program, Training Journal Awards, 2016

Learning Outcomes


Training delivery enables participants to fully explore their own working practices, attitudes and barriers to engagement, whilst developing the skills and resources necessary for overcoming such. This module introduces three key developmental deficits commonly found in clients struggling to engage: emotional regulation; emotional literacy; and problem solving skills, setting the scene for a more in-depth exploration in day two. The day provides opportunities for case study exploration, to bring theory to life and embed learning into participants’ own everyday practice. Participants are also provided with a digital workbook containing summary learning points, personal reflections and technique reminders. 

Participants will leave this training having achieved the following: 

Demonstrate awareness of how their own attitudes, working practices and agency policies can impact and impede the engagement process.

Demonstrate their understanding around key developmental deficits and their ability to work empathically with a wide range of people and problem areas. 

 Demonstrate their understanding of, and ability to use, validation techniques in the process of engagement. 


This section is designed to take a closer look at the barriers created by communication styles, body language and psycho-geography, whilst providing participants with the opportunity to develop key skills that will develop rapport and create safe levels of ‘sameness’ between themselves and their client. Digital workbooks are provided and participants are encouraged to contribute to their learning with personal reflections and with the sharing of relevant case material. 

Participants will leave this training having achieved the following:  

Demonstrate an awareness of how their own communication style, plus agency requirements e.g. ’tools of the trade’, uniforms, offices etc… can both inhibit and enhance the engagement process. 

Demonstrate their ability to overcome ‘natural barriers’ to engagement through the use of enhanced communications skills (language use, psycho-geography, body language & tonality). 

Demonstrate their ability to build rapport with difficult client groups through the use of basic counselling skills, such as mirroring, reflecting, paraphrasing & conveying empathy. 

Practice the use of some basic counselling/therapeutic techniques with their peers and demonstrate awareness of how to implement this approach usefully with clients, in order to enhance rapport and maintain engagement. 


Once trust and credibility has been established, practitioners are far more likely to get honest committed answers instead of compliance. This section is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills required to understand what is driving difficult behaviours and the positive functions they serve. Participants will then explore how to facilitate clients towards positive change with minimal resistance and maximum autonomy. 

Participants will leave this training having achieved the following: 

Demonstrate their knowledge of evidenced based practice around behaviour and behaviour change, in particular how and why negative cycles of behaviour are developed and maintained. 

Demonstrate awareness around how current thinking & working practice can increase dependency on services and resistance towards change. 

Demonstrate their ability to motivate others using Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills and techniques, promoting self-responsibility and autonomy in their clients. 

Show understanding of ‘resistance’ as being the responsibility of both the client and practitioner and demonstrate their ability to minimise resistance using basic counselling skills and MI techniques. 

Demonstrate their ability to promote self-challenge through the use of basic cognitive behavioural techniques i.e. Socratic Questioning. 

Business Benefits of the Programme

Based on evaluation data provided by Oldham Council, 2015 – 2017. This approach, when implemented consistently, has been proven to contribute towards: 

Significant reductions in demand for public services; 

Significant improvements to outcomes across ALL frontline public services; 

Reductions in criminal behaviour and activity; 

Reduction and eradication of problematic behaviours in general. 


For up to 20 participants. 

 £3,900 plus VAT for the two-day programme (£97.50 per head per day) including all learning resources.