Little did I know what changes would arrive when I accepted the position at Hill Advisory Services almost 20 years ago. As I sit in another airport today, having finished a training session, and on my way back home, I thought it might be nice to share some thoughts, namely what I love about training.
Our little company basically does two things: we investigate and we train. This week I had the chance to train some excellent professionals and in the course of the training I was able to share some of my thoughts, hear some of theirs and have a few laughs.
What do I love about training investigators? That’s relatively simple, everything. This week in Calgary we offered Harassment Investigation, Level 1&2. I was able to spend 3 and 5 days with my group as we wove through two separate true life cases and worked with professional actors. The basics: we offer theory, then progress quickly into the business of “doing”. We focus on small group work and targeted discussions which enhance learning at every step. Level 1 features a case that is memorable for past participants and allows us to plan for, and interview a complainant, a respondent and a witness. During Level 2 we interact with two witnesses, and progress to the redirect interview and a finding in the case.
These tasks form the framework for the real important work: analysis and discussion related to the dynamics that exist in every case. We have a chance to talk about why people react the way they do, what words we should use, how to prepare, how to be focussed, how to deal with strange situations, how to stay within scope, and ultimately, the holy grail; how do we base a conclusion on the evidence presented so that the finding can stand up to external judicial review!
My favourite part of every training session is that point, (and it can come at any time) where we transfer through some of the more concrete ideas and into the more abstract. In understanding some of the underlying dynamics, we are better equipped to handle a diverse experience in the future. It’s not so much about “how do you do it” in the form of a flowchart or template and more about “here’s some things that I think about when confronted with similar situations”. In this way, we all grow. Without honest participation, this is not possible.
I have been fortunate enough to develop this training package and see the growth in countless groups over the years and at the end of every training session I truly feel as if it was the best one to date. That’s a great feeling!
If you have been a part of our training, thank you for your humour, your hard work, your questions and your compliments. If we have yet to meet, I hope to see you soon, for the best training I have ever conducted!