2011 – Developing Great Interactions

Despite being committed to the Person Centred Approached of the 1990s, MacIntyre came to recognise that there was still a lack of consistency and that Great Interactions was the link. This concept was developed as the foundation of achieving good outcomes for people by putting MacIntyre’s values into action: in other words – the behaviours that people experience. MacIntyre defined a Great Interaction as the result of ten facilitation skills being used together and it involves ongoing self-reflection on what has worked and not worked previously, supporting, enabling and learning and striving for the best outcome for the person. The creation and development of Great Interactions was captured in an award-winning book published in the same year, with an updated version published in 2013. It is well regarded in the care sector, and has been adopted by other learning disability service providers as their approach to staff development.

Great Interactions has received a number of accolades in recent years,, such as the ‘Most effective new approach to service delivery’ category; MacIntyre’s ‘My Key to Developing Facilitation Skills’ tool; the ‘Care Knowledge Workforce Development Innovation Award 2013’ for its ‘My Key’ self-assessment tool, and ‘The most Innovative Workforce Development’ accolade, from Skills for Care in 2014.

Following on the success of Great Interactions, MacIntyre is developing a new programme called MacIntyre People Plus, designed to reach into all parts of the organisation to enhance further the ways MacIntyre can improve the lives of the people it supports.


Fiona Mutch (Head of service, The Croft) Remembers...

I have recently started a journey as one of Gwenne’s mentees learning about using my facilitation skills in a slightly different way to do Intensive Interaction. Initially I thought this was something I was going to be really good at instinctively, how wrong could I be?

I found that spending just 10 minutes tuning into someone else’s world can be uncomfortable and quite daunting. I found out more about myself and the things I do if I am nervous, uncomfortable or in an unfamiliar situation and that was… I talk A LOT!!!!

I want to share with you one of my first attempts at Intensive Interaction.

Pauline, who does not use words to communicate, was sitting at the kitchen table, as she often does, playing with her Jenga blocks and I decided to try and join in, but in a subtle way, where she would lead the activity and our engagement.

At first I found it really hard to let go of my urge to speak when actually I didn’t need to use words.  Pauline and I could connect using eye contact, touch and lots of facial expressions.  Pauline, laughed a great deal, and I think found it funny and quite intriguing that I shut up for once!

We had lots of smiles, giggles and eye contact during our ‘game’. This short time spent with Pauline felt more valuable than planning and going out on big events, as I feel Pauline and I connected in a way that we perhaps hadn’t before. It’s early days for this journey, but as I keep working on my skills and sharing what I’m learning with the team, I’m sure we will all manage to have so many more Great Interactions with Pauline using Intensive Interaction.


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