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Investigative Vs Ordinary Conversations

Investigative vs Ordinary Conversations

What are the Differences between Investigative vs Ordinary Conversations?

The key to successful investigations is knowing the differences between ordinary and investigative conversations. Here are three:

1. Goal focused vs Drifter conversations

Investigative conversations don't drift, they are goal focused.

Ordinary conversations drift, touching on a mix of topics casually. This relaxed style is great for a general exchange of thoughts but doesn't work when you need to get specific facts.

Investigative conversations stay on point, focusing on gathering exact information. They're organised in a way that each question leads to a clear fact, avoiding the usual wanderings of a normal chat.

2. Answers to questions vs Responses to questions

Investigators notice when people merely respond to their questions without answering them.

When asked a question, giving an answer means people offer clear information that satisfies the requirements of the question.

But sometimes, people respond without actually answering.

When digging for facts, it's important to NOTICE when someone is giving you the real answer or just talking around it. If you notice your question has not been answered, ask it again!

3. Lying vs Evasion

There's a fine line between lying and evasion.

Lying is dishonestly making a statement that does not correspond to the facts.

Evasion is telling a distorted narrative: it has elements of truth but it leaves out certain facts or distorts the time-line.

Evasion is more common than lying.

Evading the truth is when they're not direct, but they don't lie outright.

Both can be tricky in investigative talks. If someone isn't telling the truth, you can show them evidence that says otherwise.

But if they evade the truth, you might need to ask more pointed questions.


Recognising these distinctions is important for effective investigations.

  • We must talk with a clear purpose.
  • We must discover answers.
  • We must stop evasions.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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