EEO, Investigations

Investigator Tricks of the Trade, Part 3: Dealing with Difficult Witnesses

Anyone who has done investigations has encountered a witness who is reluctant, difficult, argumentative, or fill in the blank… It’s never easy, but being able to deal with the witness in a professional way that moves your investigation forward must remain your goal.   Sometimes that is easier said than done. Here are some ideas for dealing with difficult witnesses.    Talk to the witness before the day of the interview. It’s best to know what kind of witness you have before the day of the interview. Sometimes you can get a sense through an email, but other times, it m

Career Development, Leadership

Improving Your Influence, Part 2: Creating Strategic Alliances

This is the second in our series How to Improve Your Influence. In our last post, we discussed assessing where you are. Today we’re going to discuss how to create strategic alliances as part of your strategy. In essence creating strategic alliances is the ability to build coalitions internally and with external organizations to achieve common goals. This ingredient is a component of political savvy. There is often a negative connotation with being “politically savvy”, but really, what about it is viewed so badly? After some quick research, we found a short survey to see


Investigator Tricks of the Trade, Part 2: Preparing to Investigate

“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”  ― Yogi Berra   Imagine an experienced airline pilot not having a flight plan because she has flown the route countless times. Imagine beginning any home improvement project without even a basic project plan.  Imagine having an attorney represent you in court who shows up for the case without having mapped out a strategy.   Without a plan each of these scenarios can end in disaster. There is a lot of debate among experienced investigators whether or not an investigative plan

HR, Leadership, Management

57,000 Federal Employees on Paid Administrative Leave? Five Basic Steps to Keep You Out of the Headlines

The numbers reported in the October 20th Washington Post article of federal employees placed on administrative leave after being accused of misconduct are staggering: More than 50,000 on leave up to three months; 4,000 on leave three months to a year; and Several hundred on leave from one to three years. This is probably not a shock to those who work for the federal government. It wasn’t a surprise to us either – we saw this a lot when we worked in the government. Why are these numbers so high?   Because it’s easier to get the accused employee out of the offic

Career Development, Coaching, Leadership, Management

Improving Your Influence in an Organization… Step 1: Determine Where You Are

This is a part of a series of how you can improve your influence in your organization. Today’s post focus is on assessing where you currently are. Whether you work in the federal government or private sector, your image and reputation is everything. This is true whether you are an employee or a manager, although being a manager creates an even bigger burden because you have to worry about your personal reputation and image, as well as that of the unit or group you manage. In order to improve your influence, image or reputation, you must first take an honest of assessment

EEO, Investigations

Investigator Tricks of the Trade, Part 1: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Investigation Technique

This is the first in a series called Tricks of the Investigator Trade.   The more we do something, the easier it gets. That is true of most professions, and especially true of EEO investigators. The more you conduct interviews, the easier it gets.   The problem is, you can become so good at preparing and asking questions that you go on autopilot and miss key opportunities to follow-up. In our experience, this failure to follow-up is the most common reason investigations are deficient. As you read this, you may think it doesn’t apply to you, but are you sure? This article m