In the first part of this series I explained my first piece of advice to new support workers – to observe a person’s behaviour and ask “What are the offer’s here?”. The purpose is to open the practitioner’s eye’s to new behaviours that could be a starting point for an interaction. The second piece of advice is what to do next.
After asking what the offers are the next step is to “Do What You See”. Look for the offers and then join in with them. Other ways to describe this step include copying, reflecting and mirroring. I prefer “joining in” because the word “join” suggests two things being brought together to form a single relationship while “copying” and “reflecting/mirroring” describe one person doing something to another. For similar reasons I tend to avoid the word “mimicking” which suggests one person making fun of another.
What is the purpose of Do What You See? Simply to hang out and share the space, showing the person that we love to do what they are doing and that we are a fellow rocker, tapper or singer. This is first step to creating the rapport upon which playful/emotional communication is based.