In a financial investigation it’s easy to get buried under all the words and numbers and to forget about emotions – those of your client, the person you’re investigating, and your own.
It’s understandable but something to guard against.
- If your client is particularly stressed on the day of your meeting, not thinking straight, or stubbornly sticking to a theory you can’t substantiate, have a bit of understanding. This can happen more in family law cases than anywhere else, but corporate struggles can get emotional too. Try to stand in your client’s shoes: it may make it easier to get your message across. And people generally prefer to deal with those they think understanding them.
- Good investigators sometimes have to weigh different possible theories regarding their subjects. In deciding where to start in filling in missing links in a chain of facts, it can help to try to guess what your subject might have been thinking. Was he motivated by greed? Revenge (stemming from disdain or hatred)? Guilt? Did he have an incentive to lie? What else was happening in his life that would have subjected him to stress?
- Our own emotions play a part. Do I have an instantaneous liking or disliking for the subject? Is that well grounded or the subject of prejudice (maybe an association with someone similar?) Too much affection for a theory can lead to ignoring competing theories that might be correct.
The Power of Dance
One reason I love to watch dance is that it provides a huge contrast to my everyday life that is filled with words and numbers. Not only am I reading, I am writing about what I’ve found, attempting to blend the words and numbers I have assembled into a coherent story about a person and that person’s business (and/or personal) activities.
Dance is wordless and numberless. There is music, of course, and that is based on rhythms that can be reduced to numbers, but the numbers are below the surface of the experience. Other than the title of the work, there are rarely any words at all (certainly at the New York City Ballet, which we have attended for years — see photo above).
Watching and listening during dance is a great reminder that emotions need not be affirmed by the written word to be real. But they are still there for us to recognize as we do our work.