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What’s the difference?

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I was out to dinner with a lovely group of friends who have attended my training, both years ago and as recently as this week and I was asked, “What’s the difference between level 1, 2, and 3?”

The person who asked had not attended any of the training and the rest of the table had various levels completed. I have been asked this question before and usually provide some details that I think people will find relevant as an easy way to differentiate. I have also thought about the question and how to answer it better for people. Here is my attempt today.

Level One of our Harassment Investigation course begins an introduction into a methodology and a mindset. I have structured the class (and all the other levels) to begin with a base of theory. We then transition into the practice of doing, something I feel provides the strongest insights and learnings. In our classes, you will be greeted (confronted?) by a variety of professional actors, playing various types of personalities common in investigation work. The cases we train on are the cases we have worked on, no make believe here. Once we have “done”, we analyze, discuss and learn best practices. Templates and ideas abound as I draw the three-day level one to a close.

Level Two comes only for those who have attended Level One. My workshops are fast-paced, and this two-day program does not have time to introduce the methodology and mindset. We jump into another true case, this time in the middle. We prepare tools we introduced in Level One, including an essence paragraph (my personal fave), and a detailed list of “Things we want to know”. Note this is not a list of verbatim questions. I challenge the group to interview professional actors with a conversational approach, with an eye to the subtleties of witness reactions, and discussion on how to develop multiple interview strategies. Yes, there’s homework, you’re welcome! Day two of this class brings us to the business of a re-direct interview. You will see the complainant and respondent at the end of the case, and we expand on the principles and strategies for the end of the investigation.

Level Three is our latest offering, and we have yet another case – this time reflecting some of the current trends we see emerging. Again, you are asked to prepare for interviews. This time, I have also prepared and we will compare lists and talk about refining preparation. Like Sarge always said: “Proper Preparation and Planning Prevent Poor Performance”. We interview multiple parties and have access to evidence. The final day is spent preparing a final report, and defending your reasoning and decision-making to yet another professional actor, this time playing your supervisor.

That’s the bones of it. As I was formulating my answer last night it struck me that we move down levels of complexity, and subtlety both with ourselves and the people we interview. In my opinion, almost anyone can interview someone they understand and “vibe” with, it is entirely another level to interview someone who does not share your sensibilities, successfully, so that they feel heard and know that the process was a fair one. This is what I’m trying to get at.

Hope to see you around the way,


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