Understand to Engage

Understanding the organizational structures, mindsets and motivations of a target group requires a comprehensive knowledge of the cultures, perceptions, values, beliefs, interests, and decision-making processes of the related individuals and groups. Therefore, the method and mindset represented by Understand to Engage (U2E) is highly relevant for every police officer, prosecutor, communications advisor, policymaker and other stakeholders involved with operations or investigations that include complex 'target groups'. 

Team of Teams

Forge strong connections to tackle complex behavioural problems together

Insight into Problems

Create schematic insight into the connection between target-audience, behaviours, and motives

Change of Mindset

Learn to look at old problems in a new way

Tailored Course

Practical expertise adjusted to the participant's context


Traditional descriptive intelligence and trend analysis are not enough to outsmart modern opponents. The contemporary security environment is full of challenges posed by states and non-state groups alike. Over the last two decades, it has become clear that all these actors have become increasingly apt in playing the role of both the fox and the lion.


An emic perspective – which takes the groups' behaviour framed by the context and situation as its point of reference – will enable a much broader and more profound situational knowledge than the usual perspective of the 'outside' researcher (the etic perspective). Moreover, this new perspective creates foresight, enabling law enforcers to get one step ahead of their opponents. This is the methodology of Understand to Engage.



Understand To Engage consists of three phases, broadly speaking:


  • The creation of a 'team or teams', in which mutual trust is established, risks can be taken, long-term goals can be pursued, and mutual communication streamlined efficiently;
  • The understand phase, in which the target groups affected by the issue are - according to their standards ('emic') - understood from the inside as opposed to predefined checklists ('etic'). In this phase, there must be the opportunity for experimentation, hypothesis testing, and goal adjustment;
  • The engage phase, in which verified hypotheses give rise to (creative) action. Previously built-up networks are used, and successes achieved earlier are exploited further.



Understand to Engage is based on innovative behavioural science research methods as a basis for security operations. U2E is unique since it translates 'scientific' behavioural theoretical insights to the specific security context while making them practical.


TGI offers a two-week Understand to Engage course. The course design is a customised process that can be tailor-made to accommodate the client's specific wishes (content and planning-related).

"Understand to Engage is conducted in the physical, cognitive, virtual and emotional domains. It uses appropriate levers that are specific to the target audience to enable the supported force's freedom of action at the strategic, operational and tactical levels during conflict and peacetime."


Course Leader

Our clients say

"Has exceeded my expectations!"

Participant U2E

“Learned much in terms of methodology, but also about myself. Pleasant way of sharing knowledge, assignments, atmosphere, examples.”

Participant U2E

“It was great! It has given me a lot professionally! It is impossible to keep looking at things the same way."

Participant U2E

"Thanks for the most interesting experience of the past years!"

Participant U2E

“The strongest aspect of the course was formed by the trainers in my opinion. People from the field that have mastered their knowledge and are considerate towards the prior knowledge of course-participants."

Participant U2E

“It is the combination of everything that makes the course so strong in its totality (method, teachers, theory, practical application, timing of the breaks, location, food, etc.)"

Participant U2E


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