Tag training

Tag training

Why I Love Training

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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!

Let’s Start Understanding A “Nexus”

Handling harassment cases in the workplace depends on a solid comprehension of key concepts.

I’ve been noticing a trend in the reporting of harassment in the workplace and in the investigation thereof. A lack of understanding the concept of a nexus. To begin, a definition: a connection or series of connections linking two or more things.

Seems simple, yes? No.

Some of the cases I have investigated recently have featured such logic as:

A) I am a woman (man/young/old/tall/short, etc).

B) Something bad happened to me.

C) Therefore the person that did the bad thing is sexist (ageist, etc).

Do we all see the flaw? It is a bit easier when boiled down to the essentials, but for a surprising number of people, the above seems quite reasonable.

However, could it be that the accused individual was just a bad person, doing bad things to lots of people, for a variety of reasons? I would submit that yes, of course it is possible. And that’s the problem with the above argument.

The problem is not just contained to the folks reporting harassment in the workplace, the difficulty with the logic persists in Human Resource professionals and in fact with some highly paid external consultants. I have had the opportunity to review work done by both groups and have found variations of this theme in the work.

Let me be as clear as I try to be when I write Final Reports on Harassment complaints in the workplace; there must be evidence to link concepts. You cannot simply skip over the logic in an attempt to prove causality, the logic is essential in the investigation and ultimately, the appropriate resolution of, all complaints in the workplace.

I have made it my mission to help Investigators think about and refine their craft, while doing the same with my skills. Let’s connect and improve the industry together!

Questions or comments? I would love to hear from you.

Dylan Hill