Thursday, April 18, 2013
Human Resources Investigations
Analytical Interviewing is interviewing based upon the principles of Statement Analysis.
In Analytical Interviewing, we ask legally sound, open ended questions, in order to cause the subject to use his own internal, personal, subjective dictionary.
We avoid introducing words whenever possible, and we certainly avoid leading questions which can teach the subject to lie.
We do not want to give away answers, so sticking to principle is a good way to avoid this.
In an assault investigation, just prior to the assault, the subject "ordered" other workers out of the building. As I was seeking to learn if the subject was making certain that there were no eyewitnesses to what was about to happen, another investigator asked,
"Did you do this because you were concerned about the safety of the other workers?"
The subject could barely contain his smirk, "yes", he said, looking right at me. This is an example of a leading question that taught the subject to lie. (the assault was premeditated).
When Human Resources must investigate (this happens more times than most people realize) they sometimes learn of a claim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a client where the subject who is accused, does not know an accusation has been levied against him. This is the same for hospitals, nursing home facilities, or anywhere people are being cared for.
It is important to not tell the subject what it is that the human resources investigator is actually investigating. (Human Resources often has to investigate sexual harassment, hostile work environment claims, bullying, and so on, and the "he said; she said" cases are perfect for Statement Analysis, as when each person writes out a statement separate from one another, the truth is often not difficult to discern.)
In the following, a nursing home received an accusation of abuse of a patient who has many caretakers over different shifts. The subject was not told that he had been accused of anything.
Recall actress Lindsey Lohan seated before a judge, being caught in lie after lie only to say "I don't want you to think I disrespect you" to the judge.
Painted on her fingernails were the letters "F U C * Y O U" flashing them towards the judge. When media caught up with her outside, she called the female judge a "bitch."
When the human resources supervisor went to interview him she asked him, "Do you know why I am here?
This is always a great question to start off with for Human Resources. An innocent staff should not know why. It could be a discussion about benefits, sick time, a dispute over work, or anything.
The staff said, "I have no idea how I abused that guy."
Please note that "I have no idea how I abused that guy" may have the embedded confession of "I abused that guy."
Embedded confessions are a point of "leakage" where the brain chooses words that "leak" out information that the subject did not likely want to come out.
A common mistake of embedded confessions is when the subject enters the language of another. This is not an embedded confession. "You think I killed the guy" or "You say I hit the man" may not be embedded confessions, but that the subject is either using the language of another, or the thought of another.
With embedded confessions, we seek confirmation from the rest of the statement to help us in our conclusion. Confession by pronoun, however, is something much more reliable, which we will look at in another article.
Human Resources positions can often become expert interviewers and there is no sharper tool than to take Statement Analysis into an interview.
1. Open Ended Questions
2. Questions based upon the wording in answers
3. Questions based upon evidence
More about the interesting position of HR in future articles.