In the United States at the end of November we celebrate Thanksgiving, and Canada and other countries have similar days where people gather with family and friends to give thanks for everything they have. In our traditions, it usually involves eating lots of turkey with a variety of awesome side dishes! So what does this have to do with interviewing or interrogations?
As I mentioned, the tradition in the United States for Thanksgiving often involves eating a beautifully roasted turkey. As an investigator in law enforcement, or even other segments within the investigative world, you will come across and have to interview some “turkeys”
. I may have just dated myself with that term, but if you grew up in the 1960’s or 1970’s, you know what I mean! A turkey was a slang word for a person who was just not cool, and the Urban Dictionary
defines a turkey as; “a loser, an uncoordinated, inept, clumsy fool, a person who is not in with current culture and slang or is just generally uncool.”
The purpose of this post is to remind you that if you ever interview a turkey, make sure you don’t treat him or her as a turkey! That goes for anyone else you interview who may be different than you and who may not fit in with your culture, whether it is a person of lower socioeconomic status, a homeless drug addict, an abusive father, an irate employee or coworker, a smug gang member, a condescending doctor or an arrogant attorney. Turkeys come in all shapes, sizes, colors and classes, and I am sure you know a few of them!
The point here is that everyone wants to feel valued and to be treated with respect, even turkeys. Treating everyone with respect is a great way to help build rapport and set a strong foundation for an effective interview. It is likely to seed the subconscious desire for reciprocity as well, so if they are acting like a turkey but you treat them with respect, they may mirror your behavior and demeanor and start being more respectful as well. With rapport comes control of the interview. Treating people with respect is an element of developing rapport.
I am thankful that you took the time to read this, and I would be grateful if you also share this post with others as well, so click the Twitter and/or Facebook link below to share!