Following on from our blog last week regarding the interesting panel discussion at QUT in Brisbane, we thought it would be important to highlight HOW to stay impartial. It's not always easy. Psychologist have put forward a social Identity theory which actually pre-programs us to have an 'us VS them' mentality that was once incredibly important for group survival. It is not needed at such extremes in today's society yet it still permeates our thinking, even in situations it wouldn't make any sense to adopt that attitude. This is why it is exceptionally important to know how to stay impartial and recognise our tendency to not.
1. Be fair, don't stack the odds. If you interview six witnesses for the complainant, interview six witnesses for the respondent.
2. Know and follow the principles of Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice.
3. Implement the ABC of Investigations. Assume nothing. Believe nothing. Check everything!
In summary, being fair, just and reasonable is the investigator's protection from complaints regarding how her / his investigation was conducted. It's the facts, ALL of them, not your opinion that matters. Paint the whole picture and stay IMPARTIAL!