Category: evidence collection

Investigative Interviewing Webinar: Tips for collecting better quality and quantity of evidence

September 14th, 2018 by

TapRooT® Instructor, Barb Carr, was a recent guest expert for Intelex, a global leader in EHSQ software. View the recorded webinar to learn how to become a more effective interviewer, and collect better quality and quantity of evidence.


The #1 Skill for Accident Investigation Interviewing (It’s Not What You Think!)

September 10th, 2018 by

I’m excited to be a guest writer for Intelex, a technology leader in environmental, safety and quality management and a TapRooT® partner.

Read my article “The #1 Skill for Accident Investigation Interviewing (It’s Not What You Think!)” HERE.

Learn about how you can do TapRooT® investigations through this technology below.

Do LinkedIn Posts Encourage Poor Investigations?

August 21st, 2018 by

Lifting Incident Video

 

I find a lot of good information on LinkedIn.  However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the types of posts that have been appearing in my feed.

LinkedIn tailors my feeds toward the types of things they think I’m interested in, and in general, they do a pretty good job. Therefore, they are throwing a lot of accident videos my way. Some of these have the opportunity to show some serious issues.  However, it is the comments that are disappointing.

Here is an example of a crane accident saw today.  LINK

There is merit in watching the video.  However, the premise of the post is for everyone to watch the video and list the “root causes” and the “reasons, in your opinion.”  These types of posts just encourage poor incident investigations!

It is easy to watch a video and list the mistakes that were made.  In this video, people listed their opinions on what went wrong:

“Cost cutting”

“Crane overloaded”

“Poor training”

“No lift plan”

“Poor risk assessment”

“Inadequate MoC”

“Poor planning”

But are any of these correct?  It’s possible NONE of these problems were actually present.  For example, what if there had been a mechanical failure on one of the cranes?  I can think of half a dozen possible scenarios that would involve none of the problems listed above.  Most of the listed issues are just easy ways to blame someone.  That’s just lazy.  In these posts, you can watch people preach about their favorite errors and point out how the operators / management / supervisors were at fault, and how “I wouldn’t have let this happen.”  And yet, these types of problems happen every day, to good people with good intentions.

I do think there are some really good outcomes from posts like this.  The first step in any good root cause analysis is to gather unbiased information.  Instead of encouraging people to point out problems, opinions, and solutions, why don’t we change the original question to, “If you were going to perform this investigation, what questions would you be asking?”  I think this is a much more useful type of post.  It encourages the viewers to engage their critical thinking skills and figure out what types of problems might have contributed to the issue.  Are there Management System issues?  Mechanical failure or maintenance problems?  Supervision issues?  Human engineering deficiencies which confused the operators?

The first step in a good root cause analysis is to gather the right information.  By changing the tone on these types of posts, we might be able to work in the direction of a good root cause analysis, instead of just assuming everyone is stupid.

 

 

Chris Watts Interview: Decoding His Nonverbal Behavior

August 17th, 2018 by

During an investigative interview, an interviewee’s nonverbal behavior will give clues as to whether or not he or she is confident in what he or she is saying. We can’t determine whether someone is lying by his/her body language, but lack of confidence may indicate that the interviewee:

  1. doesn’t remember.
  2. is not sure of what he/she remembers.
  3. is hiding the true story.

These are moments where we, as investigators, want to question and probe further for answers.

 

The recent news about Shannan Watts and her children is tragic and incomprehensible. After watching the Chris Watts interview (which occurred shortly after his wife and daughters went missing but before their bodies were recovered), I noted these red flags.

  1. Just 34 seconds into the interview, his mouth becomes very dry. We know this because he licks his lips. This occurs again at 1:22. There are some things we can control about body language; other things, like things we do when dry mouth occurs when we are extremely nervous, are controlled by the oldest human brain system, the reptilian brain. We can’t cover it up. Investigators, when you notice someone licking his/her lips or swallowing hard during an interview, the question should be, “What could the interviewee be nervous about?” It’s not necessarily an indication of lying (you can’t prove a lie with body language); however, it is a flag that the interviewee is unusually nervous. This is early in the interview; note whether he becomes more uncomfortable or more comfortable. Typically, in an investigative interview, an interviewee will show some cues of discomfort in the beginning, and then show more relaxed, less guarded nonverbal cues as the interview progresses.
  2. At around 1:26 minutes, as he spells the name of his daughter Celeste, he closes his eyes. This is a blocking behavior. It may indicate, “I can’t look at this.” It may be a response that comes from him truly knowing what happened to his daughter and not wanting to “see” it. After spelling her name, he swallows hard. Investigators: When an interviewee closes his/her eyes, note the words he/she is saying. Ask, “What does this person not want to see?” We commonly see this behavior when an employee witnesses a traumatic event, such as a serious injury or death on the job, and is retelling it. Also, note when nonverbal communication signals are thrown off in rapid succession. That is a reliable sign that you need to do follow-up questions on that part of the interview.
  3. After he says “Bella is four; Celeste is three,” we see that he compresses his lips. (He draws them inward and they seem to disappear.) This is sometimes a sign that an interviewee is holding something back. Investigators, when you note this behavior, gently probe for more information. The interviewee may be keeping information he/she is unsure about providing. Assure the interviewee that no detail is too small to report.
  4. At 1:52 minutes, he touches the side (the bulb) of his nose. Touching or covering the nose is sometimes a body language sign that the interviewee is not certain of what he is saying and is nervous about how it will be received. There are many nerve endings in the nose, so the nose tingles under stress. We may touch it without thinking about what we are doing or why we are doing it. Investigators, this may occur because the interviewee doesn’t remember, is not sure about what he/she remembers, or he/she does remember and is attempting to cover something up. Always note when an interviewee brings his/her hands to his/her face, listen carefully to the words that are being spoken at that moment. Gently probe for more information.
  5. At around 2:20 minutes, when he is telling the interviewer he hopes his wife is somewhere safe, it is interesting to note his facial expression doesn’t match what he is saying. If your loved one is missing and you are hoping he/she is safe, would you have a pleasant, almost smiling, expression? Investigators, when evaluating an interviewee’s statement, does his/her facial expression match what his/her words are saying? If it doesn’t match, what is the interviewee trying to hide by masking his/her expression? He goes on to talk about how he misses his children, with the same pleasant expression, and when he says, “It was tearing me apart,” he closes his eyes again, displaying blocking behavior.
  6. 3:53 Again, licking his lips due to dry mouth at, “I just want everybody to come home,” after talking about missing his wife and children.
  7. 3:55 – 4:03 Extended lip compression at “Wherever they are at, come home. That’s what I want.”
  8. The camera pans off him for a few seconds and, when it returns, we see he is crossing his arms. The way he is crossing his arms makes me feel he is not defending himself, but comforting himself. He looks like he is cradling himself. Occasionally, he will move his left arm, but immediately returns it to cradling. Investigators, self-comforting is a nonverbal behavior to note. Why does the interviewee need to self-comfort?
  9. 5:00 He states, “I just want them back,” and laughs. Again, laughter is not an emotion you would expect from a worried husband and father. Investigators, note when an interviewee’s laughter or facial expression doesn’t match his/her words.
  10. At around six minutes, when the interviewer asks about what the police are saying, he licks his lips again and swallows hard, indicating continued discomfort.
  11. At 6:48, there is extended lip compression, and he licks his lips again as he describes how police looked for surveillance cameras in the neighborhood but found nothing. This may indicate that he is concerned about the police looking for evidence.
  12. At around seven minutes, when the interviewer asks him what he would say to his wife if he could, he closes his eyes after he says his wife’s name (blocking behavior). He is also shaking his head “no” even though the words he is saying would align with a “yes” nod. This may indicate that he knows they are not coming back. Investigators, note when an interviewee shakes his/her head “yes” or “no.” Do the words match “yes” or “no”? These clues appear in rapid succession and should be analyzed.

After watching this short interview once, I identified these nonverbal behaviors that made me question the validity of his story. Never rely solely on the words an interviewee says. Evaluate whether his/her mood matches the words, and carefully note each body language signal that indicates what he/she just stated may need to be probed further.

If you investigate accidents and incidents, and would like to learn more about interviewing techniques to solve problems at your facility, contact us at editor@taproot.com. We offer onsite and public courses.

Cancel your lunch plans! Join TapRooT® today at noon EST!

July 11th, 2018 by

Join TapRooT® professionals Benna Dortch and Ken Reed today at noon EST for TapRooT®’s Facebook Live discussion.

We look forward to being with you on Wednesdays! Here’s how to connect with us for today’s Facebook Live:

Where? https://www.facebook.com/RCATapRooT/

When? Today, Wednesday, July 11

What Time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

Recently, on TapRooT®’s Facebook Live, we learned that only through effective listening will you learn to pick up on the “right” questions to ask in your investigations. TapRooT® Instructor Barb Carr gave us a beginning point:”The first question is the only one you need to know going in: ‘Tell me, from start to finish, what you observed the day of the incident.’” Barb also advises that the next step is to “sit back, listen, and identify which follow-up questions need to be asked.”

Since our listening skills develop with practice, everyone can use help becoming better investigators. Use the video and Vimeo below, featuring TapRooT® professionals Benna Dortch and Barb Carr, to review your skills:


Do your own investigation into our courses and discover what TapRooT® can do for you.

If you would like for us to teach a course at your workplace, please reach out here to discuss what we can do for you, or call us at 865.539.2139.

Save the date for our upcoming 2019 Global TapRooT® Summit, March 11-15, 2019, in the Houston, Texas, area at La Torretta Lake Resort.

Join TapRooT® tomorrow at noon EST for Facebook Live

June 26th, 2018 by

Join us tomorrow when TapRooT® professionals Barb Carr and Benna Dortch discuss the topic, “What are extension techniques and why are they so important?” This is the third part of the investigative interviewing series. In the first installment, Barb discussed a powerful but underutilized technique: building rapport. Last week’s tip presented another powerful interviewing technique: effective listening.

Take a read through Barb’s recent articles for more context: Evidence Collection: Top 3 Tips for Improving your Investigative Interviewing Skills Series and Investigative Interviewing Series, (Part 2 of 3): Effective Listening. As always, please feel free to chime in on the discussion in real time. Or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

Here’s how to join in for tomorrow’s Facebook Live:

Where? https://www.facebook.com/RCATapRooT/

When? Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 27

What Time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

Last week on TapRooT®’s Facebook Live in the Effective Listening session, we learned that only through effective listening will you learn to pick up on the “right” questions to ask. Barb gave us a beginning point:”The first question is the only one you need to know going in: ‘Tell me, from start to finish, what you observed the day of the incident.’” Barb also advises that the next step is to “sit back, listen, and identify which follow-up questions need to be asked.”

Since our listening skills develop with practice, everyone can use help becoming better investigators. Use the video and Vimeo below to review your skills:

Investigative Interviewing Series, (Part 2 of 3): Effective Listening

June 21st, 2018 by

Last week, we started our 3-part investigative interviewing series. In the first installment, I discussed a powerful but underutilized technique: building rapport. This week’s tip presents another powerful interviewing technique: effective listening.

Most interviewers approach interviews with the idea that they need to know the right questions to ask. We challenge you to examine how you can possibly know the right questions to ask going into the interview when you haven’t even heard what the interviewee saw or knows.

Only through effective listening will you be able to know the “right” questions to ask. The first question is the only one you need to know going in: “Tell me, from start to finish, what you observed the day of the incident.”

Then, sit back, listen and identify which follow-up questions need to be asked.

How are your effective listening skills? No one is born with them, but you can develop them with practice. Take our listening inventory quiz below and become a better investigative interviewer.

Watch here via video.

So, how do you encourage interviewees to keep talking and give you the whole story? Join us next Wednesday as we discuss extension techniques.

Investigative Interviewing Series (Part 1 of 3): The Power of Rapport

June 14th, 2018 by

Gather more quantity and quality of information from interviews conducted during incident investigations. In this 3-week series, we will examine 3 top tips to improve your interviewing skills. Today’s segment highlights the power of rapport.

The Power Of Rapport For Investigative Interviewing from TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis on Vimeo.

View the session on video here:

We are global to meet your needs. Please see our full selection of courses.

If you would like for us to teach a course at your workplace, please reach out here to discuss what we can do for you, or call us at 865.539.2139 or 865.357.0080.

We have a sneak peek for you on today’s Facebook Live!

June 13th, 2018 by

TapRooT® professional Barb Carr will be featured on today’s Facebook Live session. To get a sense of the subject, look at Barb’s recent article.

As always, please feel free to chime in on the discussion in real time. Or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

We look forward to being with you on Wednesdays! Here’s how to join us today:

Where? https://www.facebook.com/RCATapRooT/

When? Today, Wednesday, June 13

What time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

If you missed last week’s Facebook Live discussion with Mark Paradies and Benna Dortch, catch it below on Vimeo or here on video.

Why do we still have major process safety accidents from TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis on Vimeo.

Do your own investigation into our courses and discover what TapRooT® can do for you; contact us or call us: 865.539.2139.

Save the date for our upcoming 2019 Global TapRooT® Summit, March 11-15, 2019, in the Houston, Texas, area at La Torretta Lake Resort.

Get a sneak peek tomorrow on TapRooT®’s Facebook Live!

June 12th, 2018 by

Not to give too much away here but you have the unique opportunity to gather very useful information tomorrow during TapRooT’s Facebook Live session.

We can announce that TapRooT® professionals Barb Carr and Benna Dortch will be the facilitators for the session. To get a glimmer of the subject, take a look at Barb’s recent article. As always, please feel free to chime in on the discussion in real time. Or leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

Here’s how to get your sneak peek for tomorrow’s Facebook Live:

Where? https://www.facebook.com/RCATapRooT/

When? Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13

What Time? Noon Eastern | 11:00 a.m. Central | 10:00 a.m. Mountain | 9:00 a.m. Pacific

 

Evidence Collection: Top 3 Tips for Improving your Investigative Interviewing Skills Series

June 7th, 2018 by

“Ideas, more than money, are the real currency for success.” – Eli Broad

I’m back in the office after a great week in San Antonio at Safety 2018 where I had the opportunity to share, “Top 3 Tips for Improving your Investigative Interviewing Skills.”

After presenting my Flash Session, an attendee stopped by the TapRooT® booth and told me, “If I would have known those simple tips at the beginning of my career, it would have completely revolutionized the way I did investigative interviewing.”

The tips I presented were, indeed, simple to incorporate. However, the quality and quantity of information an investigator can gather by incorporating these tips into his or her interviewing process are significant.  If you are familiar with the TapRooT® 12-Step Interviewing Process, you’ll find that these three tips are built into the process but you may never have considered how or why they have such an impact.

Next Thursday, I will be starting a three-week series examining each tip. Don’t miss the first column, “The Power of Rapport,” and learn about this important interviewing skill. Work smarter, not harder. Take your investigative interviewing skills to an entirely new level and join me for the series.

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