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Portfolio of Competencies

Candidate Name:
Competency Name: Effective Interactive Communication ( Threshold Level
2)
CCRA Definition: Effective Interactive Communication is transmitting and
receiving information clearly and communicating actively to others by considering
their points of view in order to respond appropriately. It includes receiving
information, understanding, and responding openly and effectively in interactions
with others.
* This competency excludes any form of written
communication.
Question:
Tell me about a time when you transmitted and received information or
ideas with one or more individuals. What did you do?
To help you in this reflection, please answer the following questions in your own
words. This will help the Competency Consultant better understand what you will
be writing about.
Begin with a brief caption or heading that describes your role in the event.
If this was a newspaper article about this event, what would the title be?
I conducted an interview with an uncooperative client.
In two sentences, please describe what this event is about (a short
overview).
This event involved communicating in such a way as to obtain information
required for my audit, from a person who was reluctant to provide the
information. The interview is the primary audit procedure to learn about the
client=s business and obtain information that will be used throughout the audit.
When did this event take place (approximate date)?
June 20, 2002.
What was the time between the start and end of your involvement with this
event? (e.g., approximately how many hours, days, weeks or months
etcY
Y)?
The audit fieldwork was conducted between June 17 and 22, 2002.

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Candidate Name:
Who else was involved, what was their job title and their role in this event?
Name:
Description:
1.
2. Mr. H.

Job Title and Brief Role


Acting Team Leader
The client who was interviewed.

My Team Leader was present during the interview, to oversee the interview and
assist if needed. It was agreed beforehand that two Agency officers should be
present, given the client=s uncooperative and belligerent nature as evidenced by
my initial phone contact.
At the time of this event, what was your job title (e.g., team leader, chief of
staffing,etcY
Y)?
My job title wasY
YAudit Officer
Essentially, what was your specific role?
My role in this event was toY
Yinterview the client to obtain information critical to
conducting the audit. In view of the client=s uncooperative attitude, I knew that
the communication would have to be tactful.
Why is this event a good example of a time when you transmitted and
received information or ideas with one or more individuals?
This is a good example because by adapting my language to the audience and
using other effective communication skills, I was able to achieve my objective of
gathering critical information for purposes of the audit.
What were the major actions or steps that you took in this event? In other
words, provide 3 to 5 steps that you took to accomplish this event. (These
key actions or steps could be compared to chapter headings in a book and
should only be one or two sentences each.)
First, I was introduced to this situation whenY
Y
Certain information was missing from the initial interview two days earlier with the
taxpayer=s spouse, who was also the bookkeeper. She indicated her husband
could answer certain questions. This necessitated the second interview. The
client was a First Nations Status Indian living off-reserve, with his business on
the reserve. Therefore, I needed to inform him about some complex issues
relating to his tax status.
Then,
1. I called the client to arrange a suitable time for the interview. I had to
overcome his objections, tell him the reasons we needed to do a second
interview, and gain his agreement.
2. I reserved the hotel=s meeting room (this was a road trip file).
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Candidate Name:

3. I advised the Team Leader of the time set for the interview and asked if he
would also attend.
4. I conducted the interview, which took approximately 1 2 hours. The majority
of this time was spent in dealing with the client=s objections and explaining why
we needed the information.
5. I used the information obtained from the interview to complete the audit
fieldwork.
Briefly, what was the outcome of this event?
The outcome was that I obtained the required information, while indicating to the
client that I was there because I had a job to do, not merely to inconvenience
him, as his attitude and prior comments suggested. By adapting my language to
his level, I was able to gain his cooperation. The result at the end of the
fieldwork was that I felt he respected me more than at the time of my first phone
call to him. This was evidenced by the fact he initiated a handshake after I
returned his records, whereas at the beginning of the audit, he did not shake my
hand when I offered it. He was also more pleasant to talk to as the audit
progressed.
Now, please describe this event in more detail. What were the
circumstances that led up to the situation?
The file was selected for audit. The business was a proprietorship operating a
convenience store on an Indian reserve. My initial contact was with the client=s
wife. She was cooperative and agreed to provide all the records we required.
She did not object when I mentioned part of the audit involves a tour of the
business premises. The client called me the next day to say we=ll need a court
order to enter the reserve. He was also unwilling to provide bank statements or
any records relating to revenues. He gave me the name of his lawyer, who I
contacted to discuss the situation. Once the lawyer talked to the client, the client
agreed to provide the records I required. I also had sought the approval of the
band council to enter the reserve for a tour of the business premises, but was
denied, with no reason given for the denial.
When you first got involved in this, what were you thinking and how did
you originally feel about this situation?
I thought this client will pose a challenge throughout the audit, and hoped
matters would not deteriorate from our initial conversation.
For the next section, it is very important that you be very specific and
provide details. Your focus should be on explaining the steps that you took
during this event (Add pages as required). It is suggested that you use the
major actions or steps you outlined above as paragraph headings to guide
you through the details or your next event. For each major action or steps
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Candidate Name:
describe exactly what you have done, what you have said, what you were
thinking, what you were feeling and what your rationale was for behaving
the way you did? Describe the conversation between yourself and the other
party (ies).
My first step was (explain exactly what you have done and if there was
some conversation, please describe it):
Preparation:
I collected all required materials for the interview. Prior to the client=s arrival, I
got myself into a proper frame of mind. I asked my Team Leader to feel free to
interject during the interview when he felt it would be appropriate.
I was thinking: I wanted to focus on getting the results and not let the client
upset me. The client tended to make provocative and personal comments to
avoid dealing with the issues. I wanted to keep a civil tone to the conversation. I
was prepared to exercise patience and remain calm.
I was feeling (if appropriate): I felt somewhat nervous, but was ready for the
task. I felt confident in my ability.
My rationale to behave that way was: Nervous, because the client had been a
challenge to communicate with up to this point in the audit. Ready, because this
is part of my job. Confident, because I have the experience of dealing directly
with the public all my working life.
My second step was (explain exactly what you have done, if there was
conversation, please describe it):
Observation & Listening:
Throughout the interview, I observed the client=s non-verbal communication such
as posture, gestures, facial expressions, and body language. I also made sure I
understood the meaning of what he was saying, by paraphrasing, asking for
clarification, and using open-ended questions when required. I listened to his
tone of voice. These observations gave me indications as to how receptive or
cooperative he was feeling as the interview progressed. Based on these
observations and the nature of the next question to be asked, I considered what
was the best way to adapt my language in asking the questions. I also had to
decide when to just disregard a comment he would make if it didn=t add value to
the interview.
I was thinking: In the first half of the interview, the client had a defensive
posture, leaning back with arms folded in front of him. In the latter stages of the
interview, he was more engaged in the conversation, sometimes leaning forward
to stress a point, and his arms were not folded as much.
I was feeling (if appropriate): My emotions ranged from calm, to annoyance, to
nervous, to determined.
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My rationale to behave that way was:

Candidate Name:

His tone and gestures were dismissive. He questioned why we needed certain
information. At one point, as the tension in the room was escalating, and I knew
the next few questions were more personal in nature, I asked myself AWhat=s the
use in going further? He seems to have the same answer to every question.@
But I was determined to stay calm and focused, and press on to conclude the
interview. If I thought he would object to a certain question, I would preface it
with a brief explanation why we ask such a question. I considered his points of
view in order to respond appropriately, however I would ignore some of his
comments if I thought he was simply attempting to provoke an argument.
My third step was (explain exactly what you have done, if there was
conversation, please describe it):
Gaining the Client=s Trust:
Prior to the interview, my Team Leader and I agreed we needed additional
documentation from the client related to cigarette sales. This documentation
was particular to Status Indians, giving them an exemption on certain taxes
normally included in the price of cigarettes. At some point in the interview, I
would make this request. When asked, he objected, asking why we need the
information, which I explained to him. He was concerned about how we would
use the information. I reassured him that the information would be used only for
the purposes of the audit, and would be kept strictly confidential. He then asked
for a written statement to confirm this, as a condition of providing the documents.
I had to negotiate with him as to appropriate wording for the statement. By
using persuasive language relevant to this specific situation, I was able to gain
the client=s trust, and he provided the documents.
I was thinking: The client would likely object. His behaviour up to this point
indicated a distrust of government, of which I was a representative. He was a
Status Indian and I would be asking for documentation specific to natives, so I
anticipated some resistance. I knew I would have to use persuasive language to
obtain the documents.
I was feeling (if appropriate): Nervous, but resolved to requesting the
information and negotiating for it.
My rationale to behave that way was:
By this point in the interview, the client had mentioned there was a restraining
order against him to enter his own reserve. I didn=t ask for further details, but
wondered what he had done to be considered dangerous. I had also learned in
the initial interview with his wife, or in this interview, that the client and his wife
were recently separated. The client was also a large and intimidating man. So
my nervousness was justified, however I was just doing my job, part of which is
dealing with these situations.
Follow the same structure for all major actions taken!!
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Candidate Name:
What were you thinking and feeling about as the event was unfolding (i.e.,
angry, stressed, happy, frustrated, satisfied)? Please explain.
The client refused to answer a few of the more personal questions, which was
annoying, due to the way he refused. However, I felt it was best not to keep
pushing for this information and risk angering the client. I felt frustrated at the
point when I asked myself AWhat=s the use in going further?@ I felt differing levels
of stress throughout the interview, depending on how things were going. At the
end of the interview, I was satisfied with my effort and the results.
What was the outcome?
I obtained the vast majority of information I had requested, and the questions the
client refused to answer were less relevant to the audit. I had achieved my
objective of remaining calm and focused, and nothing I said provoked anger from
the client. Adapting my language to the audience facilitated the exchange of
information. Examples of adapting my language were realizing that interviewing
a businessman is different than interviewing an accountant, avoiding jargon and
technical terms, and agreeing with one of the client=s comments about taxation,
thereby relating myself (and the taxpaying public) to his situation. At the
conclusion of the interview, the client said, AI like messing with you guys.@ This
type of comment confirmed that I was reading the situation correctly in choosing
to ignore his provocative statements. With that, we all shook hands and made
arrangements to receive the additional documents.
Validator to this event (you can propose more than one validator):
Name:
Title: Acting Team Leader
Telephone Number:
Your Relationship to this Validator==s: He was my team leader at the time of
the event.
ATo the best of my knowledge, I attest that this event happened as
described previously@@:
Signature:
Date:

Sent to Web posting: February 3, 2006

Validator==s Initials: ____