About EngageM8

At the heart of the algorithm that drives EngageM8 lays the theory of Emotional Engagement (EE), which was first developed by English sales trainer Simon Bell in 2010, drawing on his years of experience as a consultant to telesales businesses. The theory of Emotional Engagement is an integrative approach to the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA), incorporating elements of neuro-linguistic programming, voice analysis and audio signal processing.

According to TA, a person experiences and manifests their personality through a mixture of behaviours, thoughts and feelings. TA identifies three ego states that people typically use, i.e. Parent, Adult and Child.

When we communicate, we do so from one of these three ego states. At the heart of the theory of TA is that effective transactions (i.e. successful communications) must be complimentary. A complimentary transaction occurs when both communicators address the ego state the other is in, whereas a crossed transaction occurs when communicators address ego states other than that which the other communicator is in.

By assigning voice sounds to each ego state identified by TA, Emotional Engagement explains how successful conversations flow with special reference to the voice pace, tone and intonation used by the speaker:

  • It labels the Parent ego state as Directive, with a slow pace, low tone and downward intonation
  • It labels the Adult ego state as Logical, with a medium pace, medium tone and flat intonation
  • It labels the Child ego state as passionate, with a fast pace, high tone and upward intonation

According to EE, there are four stages to a successful conversation between person A and person B:

Recognition: This stage denotes the sharing of pleasantries common to any conversation. According to EE, B will be recognised as someone worth talking to by using a voice sound that matches the voice sound of A. Matching is described as using the same or very similar voice pace, tone and intonation.

Engagement: This is the stage of a call during which B must make a statement in order for A to accept him as an expert on the topic discussed. According to EE, this happens if B uses a voice sound that mirrors the voice sound of A. Mirroring is described as using a voice sound in a opposite ego state, e.g. Directive if A is using Passionate and vice versa.

Rapport: At this stage of a call, B must ask A rapport building questions. B’s questions can be accepted as a natural conversation if voice sounds are mixed. Mixing is described as using voice sounds from different ego states for each question, usually starting with a matching voice sound and ideally ending with a Passionate sound.

Collaboration: At this stage, A can be compelled into action when B uses a voice sound that crosses the transaction between A and B, addressing A in an ego state other than that which they are in. The use of a voice sound which seem incongruent to A’s comes across as a threat to the newly built relationship between A and B, triggering A’s primeval instinct to hoard human relationships which seem valuable.


This theory is at the heart of the algorithm that drives EngageM8, allowing real time analysis of the transactions that occur between customers and call centre agents. The method for successful sales calls which can be derived from the theories of TA and EE are taught using practical examples from everyday life as part of EngageM8s online training.

To learn more about EngageM8's benefits to your call centre, customers and agents, get in touch today.