The Demand For A Higher Standard
With violent acts and active shooter incidents seemingly occurring more frequently, the demand from the public for security professionals to provide a higher quality of protection has never been greater. Whether you are in the military, a law enforcement officer, or in the private security industry, your ability to identify criminals and threats before they commit their act must include the ability to identify those people who have violent intentions. This allows you to act as a true professional and be capable of taking action proactively by identifying and intervening before the event occurs. Crime and violence prevention demands this level of commitment from those who have volunteered to serve. Understanding behavior allows an observer to look beyond the variables that are present in an attack such as victim selection, weapon, location, attacker, or motive, and focus on the one and only constant – the person’s intent to do harm.
Pre-Event Indicators and Behavioral Cues
The process for preventing violent acts begins by developing a baseline for the people that surround you. This baseline is the normal behavior for a person or the area and includes elements of body language as well as other elements of nonverbal communication, such as how a person relates to their surroundings. When it comes to recognizing violent individuals, there are types of behavior that can be seen as deviations from this baseline. Identifying these anomalies is an essential first step to threat recognition. We teach our clients how to quantify these observations using validated aspects of behavioral science. This not only reduces the time required to develop a meaningful baseline, but also to effectively communicate why a person required further attention.
Once the baseline for an individual or area has been established, the next step in behavioral analysis is learning how to put behavioral observations into the context of the environment that the individual is in. It is important to understand that there is no single gesture, facial expression, emotion, or body posture that is a “smoking gun” indicator. It is only when observations are placed into the context of the situation where they begin to provide greater meaning and insight into a person’s intentions, emotions and capabilities.
The Four Pillars Of Behavior
There are four pillars of observable behavior that go into establishing the baseline in the Tactical Analysis program. The first pillar is an assessment of individuals. Students learn how to find reliable cues and accurately assess whether a person is being dominant, submissive, uncomfortable, or comfortable. The second pillar of behavior relates to group dynamics. Students learn how to determine the relationship between each member of a group using nonverbal indicators. Students will be able to identify group dynamics such as who the leader of the group is and assess people approaching and walking away from them using nonverbal indicators. The third pillar of behavior relates to how a person relates to their surroundings. This includes being able to classify geographical areas, identify expected patterns of behavior, identify people familiar and unfamiliar with their surroundings, and recognize patterns of movement throughout an area. The fourth pillar teaches students how to read the collective mood of an area. The atmosphere for an area allows a person to recognize the subtle changes that are present before an attack occurs, allowing people to begin preparing for the violent act with a greater degree of advanced warning.
How This Relates To Violence Prevention
There is no single indicator that allows us to predict a person’s behavior with an absolute degree of certainty. The nonverbal indicators that we rely on to provide honest and accurate assessments of a person are a result of their body’s uncontrollable responses to stress. By teaching people how to quickly execute this process of establishing a baseline and recognizing anomalies, they will become capable of making observations they are confident in.
We at Active Analysis believe that, if a person is confident in their assessment about another person’s violent intentions, they will tell someone, but the limiting factor in communicating what they have seen is usually their confidence. Our training provides reliable indicators that people can believe in and have confidence in. The content of our course is backed by scientifically validated concepts and principles that have proven to be indicative of threat behavior. By passing these skills on and teaching our clients when they no longer need additional information and must take action as a result. This can help the observer get over the belief that they will make the situation worse by speaking up and help them see that intervention is necessary in these situations.
While Tactical Analysis’s focus is on preventing these acts of violence, our students walk away with a deeper understanding of human behavior in a way that relates to every aspect of their lives. Whether you are a manager who can benefit from learning more about your staff, a salesperson who is seeking to close more deals, or a person who just wants to provide a more secure environment for their family, developing your skills in understanding those that surround you on a daily basis can help you in that pursuit.
The goal of Tactical Analysis is to provide the information needed to make an educated decision. How the four pillars of observable behavior combine to support your assessments depend on the decisions you are looking to improve, contact us or view our training solutions to learn how your organization can receive the training you need.
About The Author: Patrick Van Horne
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