So now we finally get to the part where I discuss the needed qualities of an investigator:
The next few posts will be about attributes and special qualities that will help you as an investigator achieve success.
Today's topic: The Ability to get others to work with you
The first quality I will focus on is the ability to get people to work or co-operate with you. Why you ask? Well, first off, it is my blog, and secondly – it is likely one of the most important skills you will need. It will help you with witnesses, clients, suspects, professionals you need assistance from, and pretty much anyone else you come across in your daily work.
You will make a living or go broke as an investigator with your ability to collect information. If you can communicate well, you have an upper hand on becoming a great investigator. That communication can be done in your interviews and in your writing of reports. Often, you will need to communicate effectively to obtain information from all sorts of sources.
You will need to have the ability to interact effectively with all types of people. It doesn’t matter if they are day laborers or lawyers, you will need to find a way to communicate effectively with them. If you are having trouble relating to your clients, or suspects, people in the clerk’s office who are the custodians of public records, and witnesses, you may need to consider looking into another line of work. If you alienate witnesses, they probably will not give you any information.
You have to be able to understand with whom you are dealing. There are times a simple question and answer gets you the desired information for your case. You need to know when to play nice and also when to be more forceful. There are other times when you just need to lie to get the information you need. I could have said it nicely that you need to “play a role” or use subterfuge or pretext, but we all know what is really going on.
When you are working on an investigation, you will make many contacts. These will be people that are connected to your case in numerous ways whether they are clients, witnesses, or suspects. Sometimes you will simply be dealing with members of the public who can provide information.
How are you going to get the facts and information you need if you cannot obtain co-operation from as many people as possible? Remember that you are trying to bring your investigation to a successful conclusion. You need to have patience, good manners, diplomacy, and understanding. A suspect or witness who has been brow-beaten, scared, or annoyed by an impatient investigator has no value to you and will not add to the investigation.
Here are a few tips:
· Be genuinely interested in others and make sure they know this
· Be able to adapt to different personalities and circumstances
· Communicate effectively with others
· Be believable – even when you bluff
· Motivate other people when needed
· Understand the emotional strengths and weaknesses of others
· Be sure to control your own emotions
· Create friends rather than enemies – make sure people are happy to see you comingWhatever you do - stay safe!