Our interactions with others are mostly automatic, requiring little conscious effort or thought. When we have the desire or responsibility of helping others, developing genuine connections is a key part of the process of designing an effective intervention for the person or community we want to support. Because we are so used to talking with others, it can be hard to change our approach to how we carry out our conversations. Inevitably, how we engage and interact with those we want to impact, greatly influences the outcomes of our efforts. Often our lack of attention to the interaction can make the person we want to help feel uncomfortable.
Meaningful engagement can be used to create authentic, effective connections with our audiences so that we are more prepared to offer the help they truly need. We must consider the fact that our audience is not necessarily prepared to take advantage of the resources we offer, and that we often lack the lived experience needed to know exactly what our audience needs. With meaningful engagement, we use strategies and alternative thinking to create comfortable environments where people can feel free to be themselves, be vulnerable and grow. This in turn, provides more information and tools, so that we can make align our goals, thoughts and actions to meet our intervention goals.