Bring the power of psychology to your event! 

Programs have been approved for continuing education in a variety of industries.  Contact events@tobygroves.com for details.  

 

The New Psychology of Fraud:  Advanced Behavioral Science for Auditors  

This session delves into the very latest research, busting myths and moving beyond outdated models to a deeper understanding and recognition of behaviors surrounding fraud.  We will take a deep look at individual thinking and group DNA, including the fascinating science behind how beliefs spread.  Learn why auditors sometimes misinterpret obvious clues, or even unintentionally support deceptive schemes.  This is a highly interactive, story based session that will unveil never heard before details and enhance attendees understanding of human behavior related to deception and fraud.  (Min 90 mins Max 8 hours).  

The Human Factor

This one-of-a-kind talk promises to leave you deeply inspired.  Featuring stirring  interviews with industry leaders, you will get an inside window into how their moving, personal experiences fundamentally changed the way they view and perform their work.  Research will be explored that shows the important connection between insight, emotion, and professional judgment, even among topics considered straightforward, logical and scientific.  The session will conclude with a powerful demonstration showing you how to tap your own experiences to improve professional judgment and higher order thinking.  (min 1 hour max. 4 hours)

Brain Games for Auditors

In this highly entertaining and educational session, audience members participate in live, interactive experiments that exploit subconscious thinking errors with shocking results.  Participants are stunned to find the extent to which their work results and judgments can be affected by invisible errors, and will learn how they can dramatically improve thinking processes (min 1 hour - max 4 hours)

Cyber-Psychology:  The Urgent Role for Auditors in Cybersecurity

Security breaches, including those in cybersecurity are frequently the result of exploiting a behavioral weakness.  The goal of controls is to influence human behavior, and technology should be viewed as one of the tools used in this effort.  Attackers use their knowledge of behavioral patterns to recognize weaknesses at individual and group levels and access credentials or authentication data.  In this session you will learn about the latest trends in the cyberwar, and how auditors identify and thwart potential breaches. (min 1 hour - max 2 hours)

Advanced Decision Science and Implicit Coaching for Auditors

Professional skepticism, critical thinking, and pattern detection rely on nuanced influences that can warp attention and interpretations.  Learn why some cues take priority over others, why small changes in your environment change your judgment process, and how you can learn to recognize these and improve decision making.  Auditors have the additional challenge of grappling with complex rule structures under constantly changing conditions and priority frames.  Research shows that these competing frames result in Auditors making contradictory decisions on the same set of data.  Gain incredible insight into your thinking processes and make a quantum leap in critical thinking skills with this program that leaves attendees saying "mind blown!"  (min 1 hour - max 4 hours)

Rules of Engagement:  Mastering Influence and Neutralizing Resistance

Overwhelming someone with data is an ineffective method of convincing them, but is nevertheless a commonly used tactic.  The brain areas that handle understanding numbers are not the same areas that handle whether you believe those numbers, and understanding how this works can help you understand how to build trust and influence.  In this session you will explore the tools that can quickly break down walls and connect at a deeper level.  Attendees will learn the latest science-based approaches that will cause most people to automatically let down their guard and be more receptive to your arguments. (min 1 hour - max 4 hours) 

Creating a Curiosity Culture

Neuroscience shows that the brains’ powerful “seeking circuitry” is sparked when a team has the ability to build a particular type of curiosity.  The team becomes a powerful superorganism with more power to detect hidden patterns, display more interpersonal "micro-cues" that improve communication skills, boost motivation and improve performance in a broad range of areas.  At the organizational level, the benefits are profound, with research showing that a curiosity based culture is associated with rich patterns of information sharing, and more effective and ethical decision-making.  In this session you will learn how to build and maintain this powerful culture of curiosity.  (min 1 hour - max 4 hours)

The Art of Speaking: High-Level Public Communication Skills for Auditors

One of the most important skills a auditors can possess is the ability to articulate thoughts and present clear and influential arguments.  Whether it’s a boardroom presentation, training coworkers, presenting an educational course, or a presentation to stakeholders, nothing matches the importance of communication skills in the power to achieve your goals and define your career.  Learn the verbal and nonverbal tools to make an influential presentation, instantly build trust, break down resistance, and handle difficult situations such as unexpected questions with poise and confidence.     (min 1 hour - max 4 hours)

Who Do You Trust?  The Psychology of Professional Skepticism

We us the term "professional skepticism" frequently, assuming we know what it means.  It turns out to be a complex topic that deserves much more attention..  Professional skepticism isn't simply being skeptical, it entails a spectrum of thinking tools and characteristics including curiosity, judgment, doubt, trust and experience,   It isn't an on/off switch, it rises and lowers in response to situational context, but how do you know what the correct "level" of skepticism is?  Perhaps most importantly, have you thought about what actually happens when we have different levels of skepticism?  Research shows that there are different types of skepticism which sometimes lead to seeking irrelevant information, wasting resources, and making judgment errors.  This interactive session will explore the psychology of professional skepticism and present dilemmas to the audience so they can better understand their own judgment process related to skepticism.

 Beyond the Checklist: Excellence in Auditing

Whether its the "one size fits all" trap or the "more information is always better" bias, we develop invisible expectations that profoundly effect our judgment.  We assume that with more data, more sophisticated analysis, or more experience we will see the answers more clearly and make better judgments, but this is frequently not the case.  Experts in a given field using the exact same data and identical methods tend to reach different and even contradictory conclusions.  How and why does this happen?  We will uncover the reasons in this highly interactive session that exposes the bugs in our thinking processes and explore new perspectives that improve reasoning and judgment.

 When the Facts Aren’t Enough: Communicating Technical Data with Meaning

The art of communicating technical information might be likened to conducting a symphony; you could be successful at transmitting all of the data but still fail if the audience doesn’t absorb the intended meaning.  The essence of your message can falter over technical data, and an understanding of how various audiences interpret different types of data is critical for experts.

Shades of Gray: Judgment under Pressure

Auditors, doctors, pilots, attorneys and other experts must routinely make decisions and predictions in uncertain situations.  They must make sense of contradictory and unreliable information, and quickly detect meaningful patterns that are shrouded in noise.  Understand the psychology involved in making decisions under a variety of unique circumstances.  This presentation introduces thought experiments that exploit persistent thinking errors and provide tools that give attendees insight into solutions of complex problems. (Critical Thinking and Problem Solving-Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.)

Beyond the Code: Ethics in the Real World

Behavioral science research has shown that many well-intended practices that organizations use to support good ethical behavior have backfired.  Our expectations of how people will respond to ethical controls has not translated into how they actually behave in real-life situations. This interactive presentation explores the counter-intuitive ways we interpret information, why many of the tools that should have worked, have instead failed- and how we can fix it. (Behavioral Ethics-Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.) 

The Science of Ethics

In this highly interactive session, we will delve into the neuroscience behind how our minds really work when we face difficult ethical dilemmas and choices to which there is no obvious best answer.  Attendees will experience real-life dilemmas and explore solution processes revealed by the latest research in neuroscience.  We will draw on organizational, cognitive and even sports psychology to create an immersive experience that includes interactivity with others to unveil the hidden ways our minds perceive and interpret problems.  The concepts and tools learned in this session can be implemented into practice immediately and incorporated into existing policy.  (Behavioral Ethics-Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.) 

 Audit Archaeology: The Art and Science of Authenticating Audit Artifacts

Auditing is not that different from archaeology, psychologically speaking: An attempt to find, authenticate, and determine the meaning and context of hidden artifacts.  Forensic psychology meets forensic accounting in this fascinating look at the pitfalls of overlying on either technology or personal judgment as proof of reality.  We will look at the tools and methods we use to uncover important evidence, analyze the usefulness of checklists, and examine a variety of information gathering tools from interviewing to data science techniques and how they affect pattern recognition.

Tribal Voodoo:  The Science of Assessing Culture

Would you like to make your team work smarter, assess the culture of a client, or understand what makes some groups “click” while others don’t?  Neuroscience and anthropology provide the basis for this very fascinating look into how our organizations operate at the deepest psychological levels. This presentation gives attendees an understanding of how different cultures trigger particular circuitry in the brains of its members, and why certain attitudes and behaviors emerge.  These psychological undercurrents are invisible to many leaders and policymakers, but are the foundation of all decision-making.  Understanding how these influences operate and emerge will give the organization powerful abilities to adapt, learn, and change.  (Culture, Organizational Psychology, Critical Thinking- Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.)  

The Art of the Interview: Using Psychological Science to Gather Information

The importance of conducting successful information gathering interviews in the fact-finding process makes it one of the most important auditing/investigative skills today. Informational interviews however, are fundamentally different than forensic interviews.  As opposed to other aspects of any investigative or audit process, the interactive techniques used in informational interviews must be highly adaptable. Dealing with the interviewee may require intuition and be much less rational than other procedures.  The success of the interview relies on proper preparation, an understanding of key interpersonal techniques, and an understanding of the appropriate elements of behavioral science.   This presentation arms attendees with findings from the latest behavioral research to reveal the best methods for conducting such interviews. (Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.)

Thinking Beyond the Checklist: Raising your Game in Critical Thinking and Judgment

The importance of problem solving skills, decision-making and judgment quality have overtaken technical knowledge alone.  We cannot simply rely on checklists in a fast changing world that produces overwhelming volumes of shifting, complex information.  Algorithmic processes in data science fail to deliver the full context we need to understand the “meaning” of the data those processes generate. This presentation explores the very human side of data interpretation and introduces cognitive tools that aid in understanding root causes of complex issues, dramatically improving our ability to appraise underlying cause and effect.

Negotiation and Difficult Communications

The ability to gain trust and confidence, and to form a convincing argument are critical skills.  The most effective way to present information varies depending on your audience and the type of information you are conveying.  This presentation explores the psychological science that informs us of the most effective techniques to gain trust, form influential arguments, and negotiate effectively under a variety of circumstances. (Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 4 hrs.)

Psychology for CPAs

This presentation will delve deeply into several crucial psychology topics of importance to expert decision makers including problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, pattern recognition, decision blindness, communicating technical information, skepticism, ethics, judgment under uncertainty, assessing culture and interpersonal/interviewing skills. (Length: Min. 1 hr. - Max. 8 hrs.)