Patrick Van Horne is an ex-Marine, author and CEO and founder of the CP Journal, a company that specialises in training behavioural analysis, situational awareness and non-verbal communication.
After returning from deployment in Iraq, Patrick became an instructor in the Combat Hunter program, a course designed to increase a Marine’s survivability and effectiveness. He soon recognised the value of these skills and saw the opportunity to take it to a wider market.
The result? His book Left of Bang.
Co-authored with Jason Reilly, the book is a compelling and comprehensive introduction to improving your situational awareness skills. It provides a clear framework to help you identify threats in your environment and take action.
He now consults for the military, law enforcement and security companies to help them improve their abilities to read environments and detect threats.
But it’s not just threat recognition, as we explore in the podcast, the skills are incredibly useful and applicable to all areas of life.
I caught up with Patrick to get some more insight into human behaviour and learn how he has transformed this interest into his life’s work.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to more effectively read people’s behaviour you will enjoy this one.
– the specifics of what to look for in people and your environment
– how you can apply this in an office environment and beyond
– what it was like landing in Iraq on his first deployment
– what motivated Patrick to join the Marines
“I realised that we don’t do a good enough job to really help people make sound judgements based off experience in these complex and dynamic environments”
Situational awareness is… “Knowing what you are looking for, how you are going to look for those indicators and what you are going to do about that information if its present”
“How a person responds to stress is often the most valuable piece of information we can collect”
Best Advice Ever Given: “always be ready to speak. Always be ready to say something”
Advice to younger self: “Volunteer for everything”
Decision making comes from experience so build those experiences.
The more you have in your file folder the more you have to draw on when making decisions.
The 4 Pillars of Situational Awareness
1) How we assess individual people
* fight response
* absence of fight or flight in presence of threat
* everyone else not experiencing fight or flight response
* flight response
You can only ever be in one of these groups at any one time.
2) How we assess groups of people
– Space and separation you keep between the people around you
* e.g you let spouse or partner get much closer to you than a stranger
Analysing these allow us to assess the relationships between people
3) How we assess the environment
– People’s familiarity with their environment
* tells us a lot about someone’s relationship with an area
4) How we assess the collective mood
– Looking at everyone single person and generalising how people feel
* do they feel safe or unsafe/stressed?
* these determine if it’s positive or negative atmospherics
Every environment has a baseline. Find it, then look for anomalies.