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Subtle Skills for Building Rapport: Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming in the Interview Room

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 70 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2001 Pages: 1-5
Vincent A. Sandoval M.A.; Susan H. Adams M.A.
John E. Ott
Date Published
August 2001
5 pages
This article examined the use of Neuro-Linquistic Programming techniques by law enforcement investigators in establishing and enhancing their rapport building skills while interviewing witnesses.
The task of a law enforcement investigator interviewing a witness is similar to that of the clinical psychologist. The interviewer or psychologist must initially develop a personal bond with his/her witness or client before intimate feelings are shared. Investigators are able to enhance their rapport building skills by examining some practical recommendations derived from the behavior modification technique known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP, developed in the early 1970's, embraces three simple concepts: (1) the recognition that all human behavior originates from neurological processes (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling); (2) experiences are communicated verbally, through language to communicate thoughts; and (3) individuals choose to organize their ideas (in a specific manner) and actions to produce results. The article continued with an understanding of how to build rapport with NLP through kinesics, language, and paralanguage. The observance of how witnesses and suspects communicate through nonverbal, verbal, and vocal means are seen as critically important in conducting an investigation interview. By being conscious of the process and benefits of NLP, interviewers can use these techniques to their advantage. As a result, the potential for gaining crucial information improves significantly.