Workshop

Investigating Harassment Complaints

 

PART I – GENERAL INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES

THE NATURE OF SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES AND HOW TO MANAGE THEM

Participants will learn how expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.

POSITIVE MENTAL FOCUS & RESOURCEFUL STATES (ATTITUDE)

Participants will explore the impact of their opinions of others and their internal dialogue preceding any meeting. They will learn 3 techniques to achieve a state of calm, control and positive self-fulfilling prophecies.

They will examine the “Mental Models” which may prevent successful results.

Participants will examine the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies and how they work. They will practise techniques in enhancing their results by:

  • identifying their expectations towards their own work (interviews, subjects, co-workers) and developing higher reasonable expectations; and
  • developing the ability to disentangle the person from the problem to avoid limiting pre-conceived beliefs; cultivating an attitude of neutrality and nonjudgment.

RAPPORT AND TRUST

Develop skills to establish deep trust at the unconscious level through verbal, nonverbal and symbolic behaviour. Practice.

Participants will experience the effectiveness of nonverbal rapport through a role-play exercise. Half of the participants will tell a story to the other half for 3 minutes.

The listeners will match and mirror body language, mood, rhythm and language for one minute; mismatch for the second minute; and then match again for the last minute.

The debriefing will demonstrate the fundamental importance of nonverbal matching to establish rapport and trust.

PACING AND LEADING

How to lead the interviewee with nonverbal behaviour; including how to open people up psychologically and to calm them down.

The facilitator will choose participants to demonstrate how to open people up physically and psychologically through nonverbal behaviour.

S/He will also demonstrate how to use this technique to calm nervous, angry or anxious people, as well as energize reserved or depressed people.

S/He will also demonstrate how to use nonverbal behaviour to achieve rapport and trust with third parties.

ACTIVE LISTENING

Deepening trust and rapport through listening, assertiveness and providing memory cues to the interviewee.

By controlling the interview and showing empathy, this approach to active listening encourage more honest and complete answers from the interviewee.

They will then practise an approach to listening that ensures observing and responding to nonverbal cues, undivided attention, and demonstrates empathy. Practice (role-play).

READING PEOPLE: COMMUNICATION MODES

Participants will learn to recognize and adjust to the preferred communication channels of the interviewee – visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

PLANNING AND PREPARATION – QUESTIONING STRATEGY

An approach which balances planning with flexibility. When to use ‘open’ and ‘closed’ questions. How to exhaust leads and stimulate memory.

The facilitator will brief them on the do’s and don’ts of questioning, to ensure admissibility.

Participants will be provided with guidelines for the planning and preparation of the interview.

EXERCISE

Participants will plan their strategy for their role-play interview. They will share their plan with a participant who has the same role, so they can both improve their plans through the feedback.

WINNING PEOPLE OVER: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PERSUASION AND NEGOTIATION

Each participant will:

  • learn how to change adversarial situations into side-by-side problem solving;
  • explore the phases of all negotiations;
  • be able to identify the components of any professional or personal negotiation and take the appropriate measures to ensure successful results (how to negotiate the truth);
  • learn to persuade by recognizing and adjusting to four of the ways which people process information, to facilitate trust and the gathering of information.

EXERCISE

Participants will devise ways of overcoming the objections, and obtain the cooperation of the interviewee based on these principles.

NOTE-TAKING

The facilitator will brief participants of the relevant guidelines, to ensure that notes will be admissible in court.

Timing, accuracy, speed and style of note taking. Some conservative and innovative approaches. Practice

Participants will explore the advantages of note taking in key words and mind maps.

They will practise note taking in this fashion by interviewing another participant.

This method of taking notes allowed Boeing senior aeronautical engineers to learn in a few weeks what had previously taken a few years. (One method of note taking is 95% more efficient and effective, and makes the interviewer available to observe body language.) Practice.

MEMORY

Enhancing the memory of the interviewer and the interviewee.

They will learn how to ask questions in a way that accesses ‘true’ memory instead of memory contaminated by other peoples’ information.

Participants will explore the nature of memory (hardware of the brain and software of the mind) and how to enhance it.

PREPARATION: LOGISTICS

Tips and tricks for ways of ensuring effective/efficient planning and preparing of the interview. This will include:

How to set up and conduct audio and audiovisual interviews to present in (evidence at tribunals):

  • Physical and psychological preparation;
  • How to set up the interview room;
  • Tension – when to increase or decrease;
  • When and where to meet;
  • Personal safety.

TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS

  • Managing language, voice tone and body language during telephone interviews.
  • Ensuring the receptivity of the interviewee when setting it up.

Participants will brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages of telephone interviews, as well as special considerations to achieve best results.

ROLE-PLAY

Using the guidelines provided by the facilitator and the brainstorming session, participants will role-play a telephone interview in triads.

DETECTING RELUCTANCE, RESISTANCE, DECEPTION AND OTHER HIDDEN MESSAGES

Participants will practise techniques of detecting hidden messages in verbal and nonverbal behaviour:

  • Calibration and observation.
  • Incongruences between verbal, nonverbal and situation.

The facilitator will review the most common verbal and nonverbal indicators of deception in interviews.

ASSERTIVENESS AND HARD QUESTIONS

They will explore and practise an approach for asking the hard questions, and passing difficult messages well.

ROLE-PLAYS

In groups of three or four, participants will role-play the case study interviews. Everyone will play the roles of both interviewer and interviewee.

EVALUATING THE INFORMATION

Participants will practise a method for evaluating the information they obtain during the interview.

 

PART II – THE HARASSMENT COMPLAINT

ASSESSING THE COMPLAINT

Through facilitator-led dialogue, the participants will identify and explore issues to consider when assessing a complaint including:

  • Whether an alternative and satisfactory means of redress is available;
  • Whether the complaint is trivial, frivolous or vexatious;
  • The time that has elapsed since the events which are the subject of the complaint took place;
  • How serious the complaint is, and the significance it has for the complainant and the City;
  • Whether it indicates the existence of a systemic problem; or
  • Whether it is one of a series of complaints, indicating a pattern of conduct or widespread problem.

Through the facilitator-led group discussions, the participants will discover and discuss strategies for dealing with third parties who may involve themselves in the process including:

  • Establishing the complainant’s motives for the complaint
  • Establishing the complainant’s expectations relating to the complaint
  • Recording all details
    • No fact is too small
    • Have the complainant sign the written complaint
  • Consideration of audio/video recording of the session
  • Understanding the importance of being non-judgmental
  • Using effective open and closed questions
    • Open ended first, progressing to closed to elicit detailed information
  • Obtaining copies of all relevant documents
  • Communicating the process to the complainant
  • Determining the nature of the investigation
    • Policies, procedures & practices or
    • Individual conduct

DEVELOP THE INVESTIGATIVE FRAMEWORK

Participants will begin developing the investigative framework. They will then explore etiquette issues that will help to establish a sound foundation on which to build a responsible and effective investigation, including the following:

  • Obtaining the appropriate authorisation to conduct the investigation;
  • Establishing terms of reference in order to establish a focus and set limits on the investigation
  • Establishing timelines and deadlines.
  • Creating an investigation plan.
  • Mandate of analysis:
    • Reflective of governing forces; and
    • Reflective of complainant’s objectives (in some cases).

CONDUCTING THE INVESTIGATION

Participants will identify sources of relevant evidence, as well as proven methodologies for gathering the evidence which include:

  • Identifying governing forces for example:
    • Policy,
    • Statute,
    • Established practice,
    • Collective bargaining agreements etc.
    • Distinctions between harassment, disrespectful behaviour and conflict.
  • Identifying stakeholders:
    • i.e. supervisors, witnesses, respondent, union, etc.
  • Utilising investigative procedures and practices which include:
    • Oral evidence (recollections);
    • Documentary evidence (records); etc.

STORING AND RECORDING DATA

Participants will examine the importance of storing and recording data for later reference, and to ensure a thorough examination of all the issues is conducted. This includes:

  • Documenting all interviews, phone calls, discussions etc.
  • Ensuring procedural fairness
  • Creating a final report
    • Public vs. Confidential.
  • Inclusion/exclusion of identifying details.
    • Executive summary.