Tag: communication

Taking Over A New Team? We Bought A Van


The New Van


What does the fact that we bought a van have to do with your taking over a new team?

 Surprisingly, there are a lot of similarities.

 We bought a new camper van last year.  We wanted to move up to a bigger van which would give us more opportunities and I saw one advertised which was a bargain.

 I wasn’t sure it was exactly what we wanted, or that it would do exactly what we needed but we could see the potential so we bought it.

 We carried out some immediate alterations to make it work a bit more effectively for us and we took it on a 2,500 mile trip around England and Scotland.

 While we were travelling and learning how everything worked we planned how to make it do exactly what we wanted it to do and how we could make it the best van it could be.

 We spent a lot of time planning the alterations and the best time to do them (over the winter), set some goals and prepared a project plan.

 I didn’t know how to make some of those planned changes so I researched the best tools and techniques for the job, (thank god for YouTube), bought the tools and I’m practising the techniques off line, ready to apply them to the job in hand.

 There are some things I need expert help with.  The van electrics for example.  I need to be confident of finishing on time and safely, so I am employing an expert to design and install the electrical system.  He is going to explain and show me each step so I can learn how to do it for myself next time.

 At the moment, the van is gutted, the walls and floors are marked out for all of the fixtures and fittings and it’s waiting for us to install the insulation and begin the construction.  It looks a lot worse than it did a few months ago but we’ve got a clear plan and have been communicating throughout so we’re confident in our project and excited about the end result.

 Reflecting on the van project I thought it was a really good metaphor for taking on a new team.  Spending time getting to know them, making early, crucial changes but not making major changes until you’ve worked with them for a while and established your goals for the team. Once you’ve done this, making a plan, deciding what resources you need and getting those resources and, if necessary, working with an expert who can help you in the areas where you need external help, and helping you gain new skills, realising that it will probably get worse until it gets better, communicating progress along the way then, finally enjoying leading a really effective team.

 We’ll be enjoying our newly reconstructed van this summer.  How will you be enjoying your new team?



So What Exactly Is Interaction Engineering?

Interaction Engineering: The action of working artfully to create something of value when two or more people communicate with each other.

We know that how the people who make up a business all work together, understand each other and communicate is as important as how software packages interact or a production line functions.

People are often the nuts and bolts of a business; but that human resource is above all else, human.

Interaction Engineering uses skills, processes, tools and techniques gained and developed over 20 years to help you improve your interactions.


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an interaction is “an occasion when two or more people or things communicate with or react to each other”.
In a business sense, interactions happen almost all the time. These nteractions all have consequences. The better the interaction, the better the results.

We utilise some key processes to help you get better results.


These processes have been adapted from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and are exceptionally effective when used in conjunction with the tools and techniques described below.

Outcome, Observation, Flexibility

Having a clear goal in mind helps you to improve an interaction. How you set that goal is crucial and puts you at an advantage.

Looking and listening carefully helps you to get the feedback you need to understand whether you are getting close to your outcome or not. You do need to know what to listen or look for though.

Having flexibility in your behaviour means that you are able to change your approach to help you achieve your outcome.

Pace, Pace, Lead

It is much easier to lead someone to an outcome than to push or force them there.

You are much more likely to buy something from someone you like, than someone you don’t like. We like people who we have a rapport with so you need to build and maintain rapport with the person you are interacting with. This is the first “Pace”.

The Second “Pace” requires you to demonstrate that you understand what it is like for them in their world.

Only when you have rapport and understanding can you lead a person or group of people to the outcomes you are looking for.


If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. You will have developed your interaction skills over many years and they will be effective in most situations, but not all of them.

Just like a hammer is no good at tightening a wingnut, so some of your approaches will not work in some situations. We can help you to extend the range of tools in your toolbox so that you can choose the right tool for the job.

This eclectic mix of tools has been developed over the last twenty years and comes from our experience in Interaction Engineering: Leadership Development, Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Team Development and Communication skills.

We are launching a series of one day introductory workshops to help you use some tools and techniques to improve all your interactions straight away.

The next one is on the 19th April at the Health and Wellbeing innovation Centre Truro.

I’d be happy to discuss running one of these workshops in-house for you too.

Get in touch and we’ll have a conversation

Interaction Engineering
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