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May 18, 2016

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A Recap From March and April

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:

April 28, 2016

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Would This Type of Training Help My Sales Team and Me?


While we can’t specifically say that the Tactical Analysis Program would be a perfect fit for your organization without a better understanding of who you are and what you are trying to accomplish, the short answer is yes.  Our programs here at The CP Journal teach lessons that any sales team can use regardless of sector or industry. Because we teach an observational process, that process can be applied to any environment, and much of the feedback that we get from the general public that learn with us is that it improves their overall confidence in every interpersonal situation they find themselves in.

One of the large challenges that sales teams often face, especially when they’re made up of less experienced professionals, is a lack of confidence. There can be numerous reasons for this, including a lack of trust in product or service knowledge, minimal experience, competitor knowledge, pressure to succeed, and universal uncontrollable instances, like whether or not their clients like them or where they stand in the sales relationship. By putting your sales people in a position to fully understand everything that is happening around them at all times by utilizing a process to observe all of the people they come into contact with, they will be more confident in all situations because they will be able to eliminate some of the uncertainties that they typically encounter on any given day.

For example, let’s say you are covering a new sales territory and have to

March 8, 2016

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CP Journal – February Recap

We wanted to send along a brief note of thanks for the continued support during the month of February.  We had a great month working with our clients and also had the chance to present our ideas via webinar through our partnership with the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association.  We included some more highlights from the month below.

Left of Bang Update:

We passed a major milestone in February, garnering the 250th Amazon review of the book, “Left of Bang.”  In February, Amazon received 24 reviews of the book and all were extremely helpful in spreading our message.  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 appreciate your support.  Here are a couple of recent excerpts from Amazon reviewers:

“I love the concepts introduced in this book. It takes some ideas that have always been fairly intangible and nebulous and defines them well enough for day-to-day use. You don’t have to be in the Marines to get the full benefit of this book. The concepts work just as well at the mall or in a business meeting…” – Verified Purchase

“10-years in the military and 10-years in federal law enforcement and I wish I would have had this book from day one. A very good read.” – Verified Purchase

“This book describes how the USMC applies behavior detection to combat. It is descriptive and instructive and after reading you will have a solid understanding of the techniques and how they can apply in your everyday life. Whether you are in business, law enforcement, military or any endeavor dealing with people you will indeed benefit from this book.” – Verified Purchase

CP Journal in the News:

On Thursday, February 25th, Patrick Van Horne was the featured speaker in a webinar hosted by the Boston Chapter of the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association.  The webinar had over 1000 registrants and a large portion of those that registered chose to join the session, which touched on the content that we deliver to our clients and specific techniques that anyone can use to help recognize potential threats.  We recently posted an extremely detailed recap of this webinar, with an included transcript and Q&A.  We hope to have the replay available soon as well.  You can find the post here.

Also in February, The Virtus Group added Patrick Van Horne’s WINx talk to their YouTube page, making it available for everyone.  You can find the link to the talk here.  Thank you to those of you that have reached out in regards to this talk and the impact it is having in the law enforcement community.

We also want to thank Robert W. for his review of “Left of Bang” on his website.  Here is the link to his comments and you can also follow him on Twitter via the link in his name.

As we mentioned last month, we realize we can’t always recognize everyone that has sent us notes in our e-mail ( and on our twitter feed, we do want to take this time to thank everyone that has recognized us and the work that we are doing.

CP Journal Training 

We continued to grow our online training universe of students in February, which includes individual online students from the US and abroad, and also institutional level relationships with organizations that make our Tactical Analysis Program part of the larger training picture for new hires and existing personnel.  To those organizations that have chosen to train with us, thank you for making our training programs part of your processes.  We always invite any questions from training leaders and risk management professionals that are looking to implement a program like ours company-wide, so please don’t hesitate to drop us a line to learn more about options.

CP Journal – On the Road

In the month of February we were on the road a bit and got to see all kinds of weather.  While we are away we try to stay fairly active on our Instagram account.   Here are some of the spots we had the chance to visit in February:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlantic City, NJ

Thank you to everyone who helped make a successful February possible for us and please never hesitate to contact us directly if there is ever anything else we can be doing to better support you.


February 19, 2016

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Upcoming Threat Preparedness Webinar: February 25, 2016

We are honored and excited to be included as part of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association’s upcoming Threat Preparedness Webinar Series.  On February 25th, we will be presenting the one-hour webinar, “Getting Left of Bang”.  The purpose of the session will be to share insights on improving situational awareness by applying the skills and concepts written about in the book, “Left of Bang” and taught through our training programs at The CP Journal.

The session is offered complimentary by the Boston Chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.  They have successfully conducted multiple in-person active shooter/threat workshops in the past are now offering many of their guest speakers through this Threat Preparedness Webinar Series.  Here is some more information on the organization and the web-based series.

All security related professionals in business, education, retail, and healthcare, local, state and federal law enforcement and concerned citizens are welcome to attend this complimentary webinar presented by Patrick Van Horne, co-author of Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, US Marine and co-founder of The CP Journal.

Here are the details on the event and please don’t hesitate to share this link with others that you feel can benefit from the session.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support for the work that we are doing.

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016

Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

Cost: Free

Location: Online (web-based, pre-registration required)

Registration Link


January 31, 2016

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CP Journal – January Recap


Thank 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 January as a way of saying thank you to those that helped us have a great month and also to share some of our experiences with all of you.

Left of Bang Update:

The holiday season brought added attention to the book, “Left of Bang”.  In the month of January, Amazon received 25 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 appreciate your support.  Here are a couple of recent excerpts from Amazon reviewers:

“Good book, very interesting. A lot of stuff in it is common sense but it did make me more aware of my surroundings. Highly recommended!” -Verified Purchaser

“Changes your view of the world. All about situational awareness and picking up on potential threats. Awareness is the first step in being your own security.” -Verified Purchaser

“I was introduced to this book… and once I started reading it I was hooked. So much of this book is about communication – this is information that we ALL can use – to diffuse an angry customer, a mad spouse, or an irrational child!  Learn the concepts here – well worth the read.” -Verified Purchaser

You can check out more of the recent reviews by visiting Amazon directly.

CP Journal in the News:

As an organization, we were highlighted on a few websites that are viewed as valuable resources for many in our core client markets.

On January 15th, Tim Barfield

January 22, 2016

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Everywhere You Go There are Groups

I recently posted a piece that outlined the four pillars of observable behavior (individual, groups, the environment, and the collective mood) and walked through how to break down the first pillar, the individual, in your everyday life.  In this post I will tackle the second pillar, groups, pointing out how often you come in contact with them and how to ensure your own confidence in personal group situations you find yourself in.  I will walk through the four group assessments, point out what to lookIMG_0227for to make assessments and then how that information can help you better understand what your own body is saying to other people you come into contact with. This will help you quickly assess what everyone else’s body is saying to you and will offer you clues on how to respond.

Group assessments are made by observing the amount of physical space between two or more people in any setting. There are a couple of things that are important to remember when observing and assessing groups.  The first is that, because we do work with organizations from all over the world, the group relationships that I will outline apply everywhere, but the spatial distances may vary based on cultural and societal norms for the area in which you live.  For example, while traveling in some foreign countries, I have noticed that some cultures interact with others with very little space in between them, while others maintain a significant amount of special distance.

The second thing to remember is

January 16, 2016

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Thank You and Happy New Year

With 2016 upon us, we wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that helped make 2015 such an impactful year for us at The CP Journal.  One of our primary goals for 2015 was to get the information that we teach into the hands of people that want it and need it to keep themselves and those around them safer in both their personal and professional lives.  Through our continued reach of this blog, our dedication to in-person training and developments to our online learning platform, we were able to accomplish this goal, but we realize there is still much more to do in our pursuit of eliminating violent acts from occurring.

For everyone that has spent time reading our blog, subscribing to our Weekly Profile via e-mail, spent time learning with us in-person, or trained with us online, thank you for your continued support for the work that we are doing.

2015 was a huge year for us in terms of solidifying important client relationships, making program enhancements, and improving the student experience in our online learning platform.  Based on the continued feedback that we have received from our clients and individual students, some of the goals that we have set for 2016 are centered around our commitment to continue to deliver high quality training to help you better understand human behavior to make more informed decisions, program content enhancements to meet your needs, technology improvements to enhance the online learning experience, and creating more programs that are tailored to the needs of the ever-growing list of industries that continue to look our way to help improve their internal and external operations.

Thank you again to those that have made this progress possible. We look forward to continued great work in the years ahead and, in the shorter term, continuing to work with our dedicated client partners in 2016 to help prevent violence and help people better understand human behavior.


November 29, 2015

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Building a Structure of Common Language

In a prior post titled, “The Cure is a Common Language,” we outlined some of the benefits of a common language for organizations, including bringing your team together, eliminating gray areas, and improving overall communication. In the work that we do with our clients at The CP Journal, we teach the baselining process to improve situational awareness, which incorporates the four pillars of observable behavior. We do this because it offers clear terms and justification for individuals, groups, the environment, and the collective mood, which can help make more informed decisions. It is worth noting that we aren’t in favor creating and requiring formal scripts for employees, because it often takes away their ability to think critically. Instead, we favor creating a framework and vocabulary that can be applied to any environment at any time that everyone can universally implement as part of his or her operational processes. In our experience working with our client partners at The CP Journal, we have identified three basic steps that you can implement immediately to build your own internal common language.

The first step is to get everyone

November 12, 2015

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For School Leaders – Three Steps to Improve Readiness

As more and more potentially life threatening events impact the day-to-day operations of schools around our country, we at The CP Journal are often asked by school leaders what steps they can take to improve the overall sense of security for their staff, students, and parents. While there are many things that schools can do to improve the overall safety of their facilities, the work that we do at The CP Journal primarily focuses on teaching people how to improve their overall sense of situational awareness and gain skills in recognizing the signs of potentially threatening human behavior. Bear in mind that once a person with violent intentions enters a school building, your time to prevent a harmful situation is significantly reduced. Because of that, we often work with schools to build processes to observe people much further left of bang to identify actions that warrant further attention. “Bang” in this context serves as any harming incident that you are working to prevent on school grounds, and we want people to be able to get as far left of bang as possible. Here are a few steps to consider when you are building your internal processes of observation and threat recognition in order to get there.

The first step that school leaders can take is to define

November 5, 2015

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The Cure is a Common Language   

Have you ever been in a situation in which you and another person witnessed the exact same thing, but described it completely differently after the fact? When two people observe something and they are asked later to describe what they saw, the responses might go something like this:

Person #1: “Well, he was tall and had dark hair… his shirt was brownish black, it might have been blue, and he was standing kind of strangely, like he was waiting for something.”

Person #2: “He was 6’1” with a dark complexion. He was wearing a black shirt and it was buttoned all the way up to the top. He was very uncomfortable, which I could tell based on the the fact that his feet were bouncing continuously, he was moving his arms a lot, and he was constantly looking around.”

This is a very basic example, but the question you should ask yourself is whether your organization has a common language to describe situations and instances that occur throughout the day. This could be as simple as the best way to report something strange to the security team to as detailed as specific language that everyone should for observation, reporting, and action. There are three specific benefits that can come from building a common language for situational awareness within your team and while

October 14, 2015

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Applying the Pillars to Your Everyday Life

In the work that we do with our clients here at The CP Journal, we teach a process of observation that we categorize using the four pillars of observable behavior: individuals, groups, the environment, and the overall collective mood.  Much of the training work that we do is with clients in the security world, but we have also spent a good deal of time helping organizations in other sectors that aren’t focused specifically on security to grow their businesses, improve their customer service strategy, and increase their sales, using these same pillars. As we continue to work with non-security-related organizations, understanding these pillars in non-security terms and explaining how to recognize them is crucial. One of the easiest ways to begin thinking about this in your own life is to consider personal examples of how that information can help lead to more informed decisions in everyday circumstances. In this post, I will outline the first pillar that we teach, the individual, explain what exactly you should look for while observing, and offer some examples regarding how this information can improve your overall level of confidence in any interpersonal interaction.

Of the four pillars of observable behavior, the first pillar is the individual. Within the individual pillar we use four clusters to categorize any human being at any moment in time.  Each person you see out in the world can be categorized as being comfortable, uncomfortable, dominant or submissive. These four clusters are the universal results of

August 11, 2015

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Our Answer To a FAQ About Training Online

Q: I am thinking about taking an online course but I’m not sure if I will be able to learn as much as I would if I were in-person?  Can you shed some light?

A:  Because we offer our training programs both in-person and online we often get asked about the online learning environment and whether it is right for you.  The short answer is that sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.  If you are the type of person that needs the physical environment to fully understand and grasp new material then online learning could pose a challenge.  One of the biggest challenges to online training is that there is no community of students physically in a classroom with you, no teacher/professor at the front of the room to answer immediate questions, or stimulation of people around you to help enhance the learning process.  However, there are benefits to training online.  Based on the feedback we have received from students in our online learning courses, here are the top three reasons people like learning online: