Friday, March 13, 2015
Analytical Interviewing and Patience
Analytical Interviewing and Patience
by Peter Hyatt
Analytical Interviewing is the legally sound, open-ended, non-intrusive method of interviewing where the Interviewer (investigator, journalist, social worker, medical professional, human resources professional, and so on) is trained in Statement Analysis, and then on to the principles of how to get the maximum amount of information from a subject (person, client, patient, etc).
It takes patient listening and intense training, but its reward is quickly evident in not only the volume of information obtained, but the quality of information.
I recently watched a detective interview a subject for 4 plus hours in which he skillfully allowed the subject to do most of the talking. This was a very lengthy interview, and an important case that warranted his high level of attention and patience.
In Analytical Interviewing, we recognize that the subject has the information, therefore:
We do not 'control' the interview;
We do not interrupt him;
We do not finish his sentences;
We do not interpret his words: we ask him to clarify his subjective internal dictionary:
In short, we "break into his language code" to learn the truth.
The specific training is exciting, hands on, and not for the squeamish.
We use a "Gong Show" technique in which Interviewers rapidly take the place (chair, literally) of one another, asking question after question as long as it is a legally sound and analytically sound question. The first time the Interviewer asks a leading question, or introduces new wording, a "GONG" (bell, alarm) goes off, and he or she must immediately jump out of the Interviewer's seat, and the next takes over, looking for information. The pace is intense, as is the pressure to see who can "hold the chair" the longest.
This is video taped.
yeah, it is, as you expect, a bit, let's say, uncomfortable, watching the video, critiquing our mistakes.
What is amazing is that for those who have Statement Analysis training, after a few hours of this brutal practice, the improvement is evident, and it is exciting.
Participants are also surprised how quickly they begin to practice "Discourse Analysis" which is Statement Analysis "on the fly", that is, while conducting the interview, under the pressure of both the audience and the "Gong."
It's also a lot of fun.
In watching the video, the student quickly recognizes his or her mistakes, within their own selves, and in others.
The benefit of seeing error in others is found in pattern recognition.
Many come out saying, "I can do this!" and are excited.
Few are amazed at just how much information they gather. I believe this is due to the "shock" of just how much information Statement Analysis, itself, yields. By the time they move towards Analytical Interviewing, they are accustomed to gaining far more information than:
they used to
then their co-workers get,
They learn that the Analytical Interview has the subject doing 80% of the talking.
They learn that in tangents, not only is the need to change the topic evident, but they quickly learn how leakage benefits them.
The detective's video I critiqued is a natural disarming interviewer, who, in spite of the madness of the length of time, and the provocative nature of the topic, was neutral in speech, facial expression and body language.
I would be surprised if this detective did not have child interviewing experience. If he doesn't, his department should utilize him. His intuition is to gain information and listen, which means that Statement Analysis and Analytical Interviewing are not only putting principle to his well honed intuition, but also to put into his hands, with laser-like accuracy, the ability to "bull's eye" his questions right into the areas of the most acute sensitivity for the subject.
This is also a technique that is taught to sales professionals; that is, those who not only make a living from sales, but who love it.
They are taught that every person has a personal, internal, and quite subjective dictionary and that they are to not simply parrot back his words, which is a good technique, but to quickly "profile" the customer/subject/suspect/client/patient in a way that causes the Interviewer to almost "enter into the language" of the interviewee.
This is similar to what long term husbands and wives do. It takes patience but it sends a powerful signal to the brain of the interviewee triggering a level of 'comfort', which is perfect for disarming someone resistant to giving out information. We bring him or her to a level of comfort, that is likely to have come from childhood.
It takes patience, time, and skill.
In employment interviews, human resource professionals are taught how to analyze statements and how, in the interview itself, to seek out violence in language, to help predict potential for workplace violence.
Nowhere is this more important than in jobs in nursing homes, state facilities, group homes, etc, where the population served is at risk They are even asked to assess the language of joking, and look for phraseology that connects to violence.
Those individuals and organizations interested in training can go to ANALYSIS for information. Our online training class, including MP3 lectures, printed information, homework, and chapter tests, is almost complete. This is for professionals who, for one reason or another, need information. It is not a "101" class, by itself, though we do begin with principle. It is challenging. It, too, will require patience and concentration. Certificates awarded upon successful completion, and CEUs from University of Maine can be applied for.
This course is especially helpful for law enforcement professionals who may have had some training in Statement Analysis, (like "Reid" or others) but wish to advance their careers by providing justice through excellence. More information is upcoming....
Next up: Interviewing for violence potential.