Team Pay Attention

The first step to avoiding trouble is staying aware. This involves more than just your immediate surroundings, what you can actually see, hear and touch right now. Pay attention to where you are now, and where you plan to be in the future. If you’re considering a trip, to the corner grocery, a visit to the kids, travelling to another state or, heaven forbid an international journey, it’s mandatory you gather intel prior to leaving home. If there’s any hint of potential trouble, reschedule. Put it off until it’s safe.

I recommend reading Left of Bang by Van Horne and Riley. This incredible book, based on the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program, is all about identifying a potential problem before the “bang.” Paying attention to your environment and the people it contains provides cues to danger, allowing you to escape before trouble erupts. Avoidance and escape are sure paths to victory.

Avoidance and escape involve teamwork. Your team — friends and family — are having a great time. One of you notices the strange looking guy in the trench coat, especially considering the warm temps. No sign of trouble yet, but this person’s behavior is definitely unusual. Just in case, because it’s not worth the risk, your team makes a calm exit to a safer location.

Maybe there was never any danger. Or perhaps that evening you see the shaky phone video of the violence that erupted after you left. Teamwork is great, as long as you have a plan and commit to practice. Moving, communicating and the skills to use cover are all important. Performing these as a team is difficult and acquiring new skills during the time of danger is impossible. Prepare in advance.