Communication & Interaction

Private Security & Investigative Services

Training & Testing

Private Investigator Test Preparation Guide


Section 7 - Key Principles of Communication & Interaction

Private investigators encounter a wide range of situations and are required to act professionally under all circumstances. Effective communication is an essential skill for private investigators in order to adapt to different scenarios and diffuse situations when required.

Communication Skills

There are many different mediums for communication, including writing (reports, company policies), in-person, by phone, by email, through two-way radios, and by video recording.

Private investigators must be able to communicate with a wide array of individuals both orally and in writing to obtain information. Information provided by a private investigator, presented orally or in writing, should always be clear and concise, and use appropriate language. Information should be conveyed accurately and without personal bias or opinion.

Some general rules applicable to all communications are:

  • be brief
  • be explicit
  • be concise
  • make sure you are understood
  • do not be antagonistic

Tactical Communication

It is important to adjust a communication style to accommodate a situation or an audience. Private investigators should be able to adjust their behaviour and demeanour accordingly. Communicating tactically, for example, ensures that private investigators can be assertive without being confrontational.

In any situation, it is important to communicate in a clear and concise manner. The tone, volume, and cadence with which a message is presented can have a significant outcome in how it is received by its audience. Tone, volume, and cadence are especially important when dealing with people over the telephone where nonverbal cues are not available to help them interpret your reaction to the situation.

Interpersonal Skills

Though private investigators may sometimes work in isolation, they must always interact with others, whether it is their employers, peers, clients, or the public. Being courteous and professional are always essential and help to establish rapports and build trusting relationships.

References/Resources

Saskatchewan Justice – Corrections, Public Safety and Policing: Private Investigator and Security Guard Training Manual (2012)

  • Chapter 3 – Conduct of Security: Professionalism and Public Relations