Humintell Director Dr. David Matsumoto recently conducted a webinar on “Understanding Rapport and its Possible Components” for the International Association of Interviewers (IAI).
Please enjoy this recording of the recent webinar as well as the outline he wrote that preceded it.
Anyone and everyone who expounds an ethical, non-confrontational, empirically-based approach to interviewing acknowledges the importance of rapport. And for good reason: Rapport has been documented in basic social psychological research for decades as a crucial element in any successful human interaction involving coordination and cooperation among interactants. Recent empirical studies have increasingly demonstrated it is also critical to investigative interviewing. Anyone who does investigative interviewing can attest to its importance.
Of course, I am preaching to the choir. As I write this I am reading the IAI February 2020 Featured Blog entitled “Successful interviews: Why rapport is crucial to policing.” It, along with IAI’s recent webinar on rapport, are excellent examples of the importance of rapport in investigative interviewing.
As I have been researching, thinking about, and struggling with this important topic, I have come to realize that we still don’t have good answers to some really fundamental questions about rapport. These include what exactly is rapport? And what is it not? Is it necessary or sufficient for successful investigative interviews? Are there other equally if not more important concepts that are crucial to successful interviews?
Answers to these very basic, but very important, questions are not found in the scientific literature, either.
Still, it seems to me that we should seek answers or clarity to these questions because how we land on them can influence many things, including our understanding about the nature and function of rapport in interviews; how to establish, maintain, and repair it; and whether there are other concepts that we should also keep in mind when conducting interviews.
In this webinar, I will raise these questions, bringing examples from the scientific literature as well as practical applications. I won’t provide a recipe for how to establish and maintain rapport in investigative interviews, because there are so many extremely competent interviewers, especially those certified in the CFI/IAI method! But I would like to raise awareness of some important questions, and possible limitations, of the concept of rapport, and bring to bear whatever scientific evidence there is to address these issues.
The overall goal of the webinar will be to raise awareness about and critical thinking related to this incredibly important concept to investigative interviews.