Observing Great Interactions

One of the best parts of my job is getting out and about to different services and meeting the people we support and staff. I enjoying seeing the way staff support people and the Great Interactions that take place.

I visited Brookes Road one day and the person being supported was getting agitated with the member of staff supporting them. The person did not know what activity they wanted to do that day and was getting cross. The member of staff took time to answer calmly, sat with the person; offered choices for options that were available and always ensured the person had time to think about the choice and for them to make their own decision on what they wanted to do. Eventually the person was calmer and happier and made the decision to prepare their lunch on their own and then to do an activity afterwards. It was great to see the way the member of staff used their facilitation skills effectively such as being aware of their tone of voice, keeping calm, maintaining good eye contact, body language relaxed and showing respect by giving the person plenty of time to think about their options and make their own decision in their own time, which then proved to be a positive outcome for the person.

Another time I was visiting the Coffee Shop at Great Holm. Hannah was working that day and was being supported by Josh Peel to use the till. Hannah rang the total into the till and took the money from the customer, but needed support from Josh when the money was handed over to her. Josh stood with Hannah and explained what the notes were that she had been given. He kept his voice soft and his explanations were straight forward with just the right amount of words required for the situation. Josh had good eye contact with Hannah and reassured her by smiling, nodding and being patient with her, this also portrayed warmth due to the good working relationship the two of them had.

It was evident that Hannah found the whole experience very supportive and meaningful as when she handed money back to the customer she excitedly told them they had a new £5 note in their change. It took a bit of time for the whole process to take place, but it was so worthwhile: it had been a good experience for Hannah and for me it was fantastic to see such a Great Interaction.

Carol Davison
Audit and Standards Officer


  • deb Ibbetson says:

    Its great to be able to visit so many services and see such Great Interactions!

  • donald says:

    Hannah is a nice person and always makes me smile when I pop across to Gt Holm Coffee Shop for something to eat.. She does well and she’s supported well.The whole shop has a good team of people ( staff and people we support) working there.

  • Emma Killick says:

    Thanks Carol – two very different scenarios but the same basic skills being demonstrated by both of members of staff supporting people in order to ensure they feel in control and build their confidence and independence.

  • Nicola Payne says:

    Love reading this and seeing that the great work that happens at the coffee shop and other MacIntyre services is being highlighted and its all about giving the “Just right support”.

  • Kirsty Peachey says:

    Thank you for sharing a couple of your recent experiences. It is good to hear the great experiences that happen for the people we support in everyday activities.

  • Fay Walker says:

    Always lovely to hear people’s stories of interactions they have witnessed while out and about.

  • Jeremy Bugden says:

    Thank you for this timely reminder Carol, based on your observations, namely; to remember not to be tempted in filling those “gaps of silence” as these are good times to process information such as instructions and/or choices. In addition to the more obvious; patience, eye contact and a reassuring tone of voice, which are all such necessary interactions to help people grow.

  • Barrie Ellis says:

    I agree Carol, it’s great to get out into different services and see how people do things. So often very different, but the same principles link it all together. And going to the Coffee Shop is always a brilliant experience!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Telephone 01908 230100 Email hello@macintyrecharity.org