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Using Deep Listening Skills to Improve Credibility Assessment
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Outside Investigators Track

Friday, October 23
2:15 - 3:00pm

In “he said, she said” cases, where relevant evidence is limited to the statements of the complainant and the respondent, credibility assessment becomes a critical factor in determining what actually occurred. In these types of cases, deep listening skills are necessary because they encourage witnesses to reveal detailed and accurate information. With more accurate information, the investigator is better able to determine who is telling the truth.

For example, in Silva v. Lucky Stores, Inc., 65 Cal.App.4th 256 (1998), the investigator encouraged the respondent to reveal detailed information, which aided the investigator in assessing credibility.

To develop deep listening skills, we must release judgments and emotional reactions that often occur during witness interviews and also connect with witnesses on their emotional level, all the while maintaining our neutrality. If we can master these skills, we improve the likelihood of getting witnesses to reveal all they know. 

In this session, attendees will learn how to: 

  • Be fully present during witness interviews
  • Quickly identify and let go of judgments and emotional reactions that may arise during witness interviews
  • Sense what the witness is feeling
  • Connect with the witness emotionally, while maintaining neutrality
  • Obtain more detailed and accurate information from witnesses, which will improve credibility assessment

Speaker: Jay Sherman, Sherman Investigations


Jay Sherman

Jay Sherman

Jay Sherman is a licensed California attorney whose practice is dedicated to performing workplace investigations and advising California employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws. He also trains companies on sexual harassment prevention and teaches Employment Law to HR practitioners at UC Santa Barbara Extension. 

In addition to 22 years of law practice, Mr. Sherman has had 16 years of HR management and executive experience, first as Employee Relations Manager for Kinko’s and then as Vice President of Human Resources for LifeCare Assurance Company. He has been an AWI member since 2013 and has completed AWI’s National Institute. He earned his JD from Loyola Law School and an MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

Approved for 0.75 hours HRCI general recertification credit.

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