Acting Hinky 

January 16, 2020 in Applying The Observations

Our primary goal here at The CP Journal is to get our content into the hands of people who truly want it and need it.  We continue to hear from countless people that have used our training to save a life, build their own training program, prevent a crime or violent incident, or help land a job by improving their interpersonal skills.  However you plan to use our processes and content is great, as long as you are using it for good. One of the greatest parts about the work that we do that is that we get to hear from people that read Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, spend time on our blog, train with us online, or attend an in-person seminar.  This feedback loop is crucial in helping us remain steadfast in our goals of growing and expanding our program options and training schedule.    

All of the feedback we receive is excellent, even when it isn’t positive.  We realize that we can’t be all things to all people, and the notion that the work that we do will resonate positively with everyone in the world would be naive.  So we do in fact like and appreciate when people don’t like our training or think the book could be better, because it usually leads to a thoughtful discussion about human behavior, observation, or pre-event indicators.  One recent Amazon review of the book Left of Bang recently brought up a great point about what’s happening out in the world today and how the concepts that we teach can help make the world a safer place.  

The review mentioned that the only thing the book is about is how to explain when someone is “acting hinky.”  When we hear the term “hinky,” we generally think that the definition involves a person acting suspect or appearing to be dishonest in some way.  This review and comment is so important to the larger conversation about behavioral analysis and can help organizations around the world better understand some of the struggles that exist in interpersonal communication today.  In Left of Bang, the term is used to explain an incident that involved a customs agent in the state of Washington.  The agent used the term to describe someone that stood out, and she included the phrase in her report.  She then used that concept as a catalyst for further questioning and eventually preventing a potentially major incident.   Continue reading »

How Behavioral Analysis Can Improve Loss Prevention Processes

January 2, 2020 in Applying The Observations

We get a lot of e-mails from students after they complete our online course letting us know a little bit more about the work that they do, why they were drawn to our content, and how they plan to apply it to their everyday processes and routines.  We recently received one such e-mail that brought up a great point that will be helpful for readers of our blog.  While it isn’t a frequently asked question, other professionals may have this issue come up, so we hope this post clarifies the idea and helps you make your processes more efficient. 

The person that completed our course works in loss prevention for a large retail chain in the United States.  He has begun using our program as the foundation for a system of safety measures at his store and is very satisfied with the improvements his team has made.  His question was in regards to retail theft and if his team can apply the program to catching and spotting people stealing. If so, what would a recommendation be for the hasty search and building a system to recognize anomalies in those instances?  

The question of loss prevention is particularly poignant, as we currently partner with multiple clients working to aid loss prevention using our observation and decision-making processes. The answer is yes, this process can definitely be used in loss prevention situations, with “Bang” being the act of a theft.  If you haven’t yet seen our piece that outlines the Hasty and Deliberate searches, here is a link to our “Tools, Guides, and References Page,” where you can find explanations of these processes.  By using the flow chart and processes, you should be able to build a consistent baseline for the various environments that you are tasked with protecting.  Using those baselines, you will then want to practice observing anomalies using the specific language that we teach in our programs to ensure that you are remaining unbiased and using the brain and the body’s response to the situation as your guide.  

For the purposes of building your process and training program, it is important to remember that theft is not the typical intent for most patrons to your business.  The normal flow of customers will be the baseline.  For instance, in a grocery store, the “normal” flow that a person operates under may be, that he or she enters your store, moves to the area where the baskets or carriages are located, then takes the carriage around the store to different areas to select items.  After selecting their items they will move to the checkout area of the store, pay for their items, and leave.  During each step in this process the human body will display a series of normal behavior indicators.  These indicators at each state become your baseline.  In many cases involving customers, the baseline for individuals will be the comfortable cluster, but not always, so it is important to set your baselines using observed behavior and not inherent expectations.  Continue reading »

Online Learning for Everyone

July 12, 2019 in Training

One of the most common questions that we receive from organizations here at The CP Journal is how they can deliver our Tactical Analysis training program to their entire team using our online learning platform at https://academy.cp-journal.com. Because we get this question often, we want to share this post to outline how organizations can implement our online learning platform into their existing processes whether they currently use technology-based learning or not.

For those of you that are unsure if our program and platform are right for you, we encourage you to spend more time on our blog to better understand our methodology and training foundations. If you are already familiar with our training tenets, but have not yet seen our online platform, you can check out the first few modules for free by choosing a version of the course towards the bottom of this page. Assuming you have decided that you want to incorporate our course into your training curriculum, we have three main requirements to scale the content to everyone:

  1. Each student must have a unique, valid e-mail address in order to be properly enrolled in the course.
  2. Each organization must allow communication between The CP Journal and their teams via e-mail so that we can send instructions and make ourselves available for support as needs come up.
  3. Each student must have access to the Internet to access the course material. Because we continually make updates and enhancements to the courses, we house all of our materials in our Virtual Academy, which requires Internet capabilities to stream.

While we have become the first online learning platform for Continue reading »

The Clothes Don’t Make the Man

August 13, 2018 in Applying The Observations

Ah, the age-old phrase “the clothes make the man.” The premise of this phrase is the notion that you can dress a certain way in order to transform yourself into something. For instance, if you want to be seen as someone who knows what they are doing at the gym, you would wear gym clothes. If you have a big job interview, you would put on a nice suit that’s been tailored and dry cleaned for the occasion. The clothes, in these examples, can help you fit in with the established expectation for whatever it is you are undertaking. In behavioral analysis, the clothes are an active choice, not uncontrollable human behaviors, and should therefore not be used to make decisions on their own. Clothing can be a distraction during the observation process and should only be included in your description, after you make your observations, not as sole indicators to base decisions off of.

In the work that we do at The CP Journal, we are often asked to consult on observational processes and behavior pattern recognition with businesses and organizations both within the United States and internationally. One of the benefits of taking a behavioral analysis approach to observation and recognition is that you can use our methodology and principles of universal signs of human behavior anywhere in the world, as long as there are people. And people, all around the world, dress differently. This doesn’t mean that we can’t observe and identify anomalies based in part on clothing. However, whether I am wearing a bathing suit or tuxedo, dominance is dominance and comfortable is comfortable. The clothing may change, but the behaviors do not.

There are many differences between controllable and uncontrollable human behaviors. It may seem Continue reading »

Reporting for Leadership Teams: The CP Journal Dashboard

December 6, 2017 in Training

Image Description: Snapshot of the dashboard outputs, user information, and course results


In a recent post on The CP Journal Blog, “How to Leverage Our Content for Your Team,” we highlighted how organizations use our online courses as continuing education for their entire teams. In that post, we mentioned the dashboards and reports that we offer to organizations with large teams participating in our online Tactical Analysis Training Program®.  Since then, we’ve received some questions about ways in which organizations can keep track of their team’s progress and course results while training with us. We wanted to go ahead and share how the dashboards and reports are built, what they can include, and the way teams are using them to ensure everyone in the program is improving their skills in behavioral analysis.

The dashboards that we build, customize, and provide for our online clients at The CP Journal are a compilation of course results for each user going through the modules within our training courses. For every team that chooses to train with us that also wants dashboard capabilities, we set up access to a shared database that shows the team user list and their progress through the program.  Some of the content is automatically fed onto the page, and course results are included once people complete the modules within the courses.  The details on each user can be as basic or as detailed as our clients want, and the course results can include results from any or all quizzes and tests embedded in the program. These features make the dashboards highly customizable and easy to understand because we only include the information that each client really wants.

These dashboards were originally created at the request of Continue reading »

How to Leverage Our Content for Your Team 

November 13, 2017 in Training

Here at The CP Journal, we’re often asked how protectors can leverage our content to make it effective and actionable for teams of people within their organization. More specifically, they are looking at how best to take the education of an individual person and scale it to a larger team and, in some cases, their entire organization. Because of the frequency of this question, we’ve outlined some of the most popular ways here. If you have other ways that you’re scaling our content out to your entire team, please let us know so that we can share that information with the rest of our audience and empower even more people to learn the skills that we teach.

First and foremost, many organizations purchase our online Tactical Analysis Program® for their entire team.  The benefits that our clients see in using our online course for their teams is that they know they can trust that everyone is seeing and hearing the same message, that individual team members can view the content on their own time and re-watch any modules as often as they like, and that leaders can see where there were deficiencies during the training that need reinforcement as an after action review. We offer organizational pricing and dashboards for leadership, making it more cost-effective and easier to get everyone on their teams trained efficiently.  Dashboards are customizable report cards that we share with team leaders to see who has been set up with access and who has completed the program. They also display course results to track how well everyone did on the quizzes and tests throughout the program.

If this is beyond the scope for your team, many organizations make Continue reading »

Making the Deli Experience Deliberate

March 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

At The CP Journal we teach the process of determining the baseline for any given area and situation to improve people’s situational awareness. The process involves two primary steps for any area that you operate in – the hasty search and the deliberate search. Last month, in various blog posts, we outlined the hasty search and used some scenarios that occur in daily life to explain how to best to practice it and make it your own.   As a reminder, the hasty search is the first step that anyone can take to set his or her baseline for the area. It involves assessing the collective mood as positive or negative and then confirming that assessment by observing the individual people in the area. This month we are continuing to expand on the baselining process by highlighting the deliberate search. The purpose of this post is to describe the deliberate search process using an environment that many people are accustomed to, the grocery store deli counter.

Before we begin, it is worth noting that the deliberate search is more detailed than the hasty search. The goal of the deliberate search is to identify the underlying patterns that present themselves in any given situation that you find yourself in, which makes it easier to identify anomalies. Because pattern recognition takes patience, the deliberate search requires time and practice.   Once you build your deliberate search skills, they can be repeated over and over again everywhere you go.

The grocery store or supermarket is familiar territory for most people. They are familiar with how the store operates and understand the layout of the deli area in relation to the rest of the store. The process at the deli counter is pretty cut and dry. People approach the area to order meats, cheeses, cold cuts, and salads. People form a queue and wait for attention from someone behind the counter to take their order. Customers then add those items to their carts and continue shopping in other areas of the store. The deli area within the grocery store is usually uniform and offers a repeatable setting that exists in most areas of the country, which makes it a great place to practice the deliberate search because you can consistently see the same interaction over and over again.

The steps to the deliberate search that I will outline here are as follows: Continue reading »

Everyone Can Search Hastily

February 8, 2017 in Applying The Observations

While chatting with my mother-in-law recently, we got to talking about The CP Journal and the work that we do.  She is a great supporter of us and is always interested in what we are working on. In our conversation, she said that our content is very interesting but she sometimes has trouble taking our writing and using it herself because she is a civilian and doesn’t work in security or law enforcement.  Because we spend a significant amount of time training professionals that are already well versed in the basics of observation and threat recognition, we tend to gloss over how everyday people can put these same skills to work for themselves.  Based on themes we’ve noticed in student questions through our online training platform, we are spending the month of February digging into a particular step in our observational process called the “hasty search”.  The purpose of this post will be to frame what the hasty search is for civilians and put some simple steps into your hands to be able to conduct a hasty search everywhere you go.

The hasty search does not have to be complicated.  In plain English, the hasty search is the first thing people do when they walk into any environment. Everyone already does it, they just might not realize it. Everyday civilians probably spend about one to two seconds subconsciously conducting their own hasty search when they step foot into a new environment. The first step is to ask yourself when you walk in to a place, in terms of your personal safety and security, are you Continue reading »

See What? And Say It How?

December 12, 2016 in Applying The Observations

While traveling in New York City recently I noticed signs for the “See Something, Say Something” campaign around town.  For those who haven’t yet seen a sign or poster in their neighborhood, the slogan is intended to remind people that, when they see something that is out of the ordinary or suspicious, they should say something to someone of authority to raise awareness of the potential issue.  The program was originally implemented by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2001 and is now licensed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a nationwide campaign.  You can get more info on the campaign and ways to help drive the message here.

This campaign is a crucial step for getting the public involved in the process of stopping potentially dangerous events from occurring.  It also raises awareness and reminds people of their role in keeping themselves and those around them safe. While the concept itself is broad enough in scope to serve as a great reminder, the purpose of this post will be to expand on details of the program that also align with the work that we do here at The CP Journal. Together, this campaign and the work that we do, both serve as helpful tools to help build community involvement in threat recognition and this post will expand on a prior writing that outlined the three pieces to the threat prevention puzzle.

Many of the types of suspicious activity outlined in training programs and literature for the “See Something, Say Something” campaign revolve around physical actions, like stealing information, data acquisition, and weapon discovery.  These are all obviously important suspicious activities to report that have been gathered based on the study of prior threatening events, but the truth is that they don’t tend to Continue reading »

Building a Culture of Trust

November 21, 2016 in Veterans, Business, and Security

Wells Fargo has been in the news recently regarding their internal cross-selling culture and the opening of accounts without their customer’s knowledge. Wells Fargo is not the only business that has a culture built around cross selling products, and they will probably not be the last to be found to violate customer trust in some way. These recent news articles have caused us to reflect on the role ethics and trust play in building and managing a business and we thought we would share a recent article that was shared with us.

In alignment with the recent news of trust at Wells Fargo, we were also recently sent a link from September 26, 2014, where Ignazio Angeloni, a member of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank, spoke on ethics in finance.

In the above link, Angeloni poses a series of questions that financial institutions can ask themselves when building their internal procedures and policies for helping customers. We found these questions to be helpful for us at The CP Journal and thought they might also be Continue reading »

Working Together to Prevent Threats

November 14, 2016 in Applying The Observations

Events involving people occur at every moment of every day. In just one day alone you may say hello to a neighbor, meet a friend for coffee, make small talk with the teller at the grocery store, or sit in a movie theater with people that you don’t know. Throughout all of these interactions, it is highly unlikely that any will result in a threatening event or violence of any kind. With that in mind, however, Chapman University recently released their 2016 study of American Fears, which reveals that the threat of violence is something that the public pretty actively fears.

One fear that is prevalent for the American public that stood out to us at The CP Journal is the public’s fear of terrorism and their role in thwarting it. Based on the report, 38.5% of the American public is either afraid or very afraid of being a victim of a terrorist attack.[1] While the fear of terrorism currently sits at the top of the mind for many people, it is important to note that most interactions between people do not result in terrorism or violence of any kind. By working together to observe, actively and accurately, we can improve our ability to prevent violence between people, including terrorist acts. Using a recent event from the news as a framework, I will outline the three primary parties involved in threat prevention and how we can better work together, as an engaged public, to observe and report suspicious activity.

To serve as context for this post, we will share some recent articles that reported a recent situation that took place in Canada. The situation involved a person operating outside of what was normal for the area, a local resident calling the authorities, and law enforcement responding. In this example there was Continue reading »

How Often Can I Rewatch Training Modules?

July 29, 2016 in Training

One of the questions that we often get from online students before they choose to train with us is in regards to viewing and reviewing the individual training modules included in our training programs.

One of our primary goals at The CP Journal is to get the information, content, and materials that we have built and continue to enhance into the hands of the people that truly need it and want it.  Because of that, we make our online training modules and courses reviewable as often as the individual student would like.

Early on in the feedback process we heard from online students that they often felt the need to rewatch certain modules over and over again to really internalize the material and get to the understanding of being able to implement the behaviors in their own day-to-day lives. With this feedback in mind, once you purchase an online training course from us and choose to train in our online learning environment, we want to make sure you have the flexibility to rewatch any lessons as often as you would like.

As we continue to enhance our courses and add new material, you will continue to have access. If you are unsure whether there have been updates since last you logged in, you can visit our Course Road Map and see if there have been any updates to the materials.

Thank you to our online students who continue to incorporate our training programs into their larger initiative to improve situational awareness and understanding of human behavior. Please continue to direct any questions pertaining to our online learning programs to: training@cp-journal.com


 

Can I Add Level 2 After Starting the Basic Course?

July 18, 2016 in Training

We’ve gotten a few questions recently from our students who have purchased our Basic course and wish to add the Advanced content before they finish the Basic course.  We thought it might make sense to share a short post about the current status of that option, the rationale for why it is set up that way, and the steps to get all of the content that you want.

At present, you can choose to train with us either in our Basic or Advanced online programs before purchasing any program.  The Basic program includes eight hours of our Level 1 content with relevant scenarios for the version that you choose.  The Advanced course includes all of the content from Basic and a second level of eight-hour content to take the training a step further.  If you choose to begin training with us in our Basic course, at present, we only make available the option to add Level 2 (Advanced) content at the conclusion of the course.

We don’t make the individual Level 2 course add-on available on our purchase page because of the pre-requisite course requirements that are set up with our online training software.  Because we offer different programs for the different client markets that we operate in, some people may purchase Level 2 of a different course, and be thoroughly confused as to why the content isn’t lining up.

At the conclusion of Level 1, you will see the option to add-on Level 2 and continue training with us.  We trust that you will continue to find the content engaging, so much so that you will still want to purchase Level 2 when the option presents itself.  We are continuing to make content and course experience enhancements to our training and greatly value the feedback that we receive from our online students.

Please continue to send us feedback on your experiences and never hesitate to let us know any time you have any other questions. We are glad to help.  We can be reached directly via e-mail at training@cp-journal.com


 

The Collective Mood and You

July 6, 2016 in Assessing The Collective

chaotic-mall-entrance.001

Here at The CP Journal, a lot of our work centers on personal safety and security and is geared towards professions such as the military, police, and security. However, many of the concepts that we teach our clients can be easily transferred to the civilian world for anyone to use.  In two recent posts, I outlined the four clusters of observable behavior that we teach our clients and broke down the first two pillars, which are the individual and groups.  I applied a common sense language to both pillars so that they can be easily applied to everyday life.  As a follow-up to those posts, I will now walk through the next pillar, the collective mood, and explain what it is, how to recognize the mood around you, and how to use that information to make more informed decisions for your own personal safety and to improve your overall communication with other people.

The collective mood of an area is best described as the social or emotional atmosphere of an environment, situation, or place.  By assessing the collective mood in your everyday routine you will be able to set a baseline for all of the places you visit on a daily basis and then be able to more accurately assess the individuals and groups that don’t align with the given situation.  These misalignments, or anomalies, can help you recognize potential threats or people that are present with intentions other than the norm for the area. The two mutually exclusive assessments for the collective mood are positive or negative, and you can determine the collective mood by either thinking about it from a Continue reading »

A Recap From March and April

May 18, 2016 in Veterans, Business, and Security

cp-journal-conference-tableThank you to everyone for the support at the start of 2016.  We often get asked to share some of our experiences from time to time and thought it would be helpful if we compiled some results from March and April as a way of saying thank you to those that have made behavioral analysis and enhanced situational awareness a larger part of their process.

Left of Bang Update:

In the months of March and April, Amazon received 29 reviews of the book.  Thank you to everyone who has let us know they have read the book and for those that have taken the time to review it for others.  We greatly appreciate your support.  While the majority of the reviews that came in through Amazon this month were five-star, we wanted to share the comments from this four-star review because we think it sets a great expectation for the book and how it can be applied to the civilian world.  Here are the comments from a verified purchaser: Continue reading »