Like a lot of noteworthy careers, Marvin Mason’s began, in part, with true love. Decades before he became the Chief Marketing Officer at the Crisis Prevention Institute, Marvin was an undergrad at Western Michigan University, earning his degree in Public Relations. It was during his studies that Marvin met his wife-to-be, a fellow student holding down a job at a center for developmentally disabled adults. As a way to get closer to the woman he was falling for, Marvin took a job at the same facility. The life-lessons he learned there, coupled with the advice from a favorite professor who inspired Marvin to make corporate training his career focus, helped propel him on a career path that took him from the publishing giant Simon and Shuster to the crisis prevention training giant, CPI.
Here are a few of the highlights from my conversation with Marvin.
On the “Educate.” from CPI’s “Educate. Empower. Enrich.” tagline (8:03)
“I think the educate part of it is really about helping them (participants) understand human behavior, how to work with somebody in a way that you don’t, by your own actions, cause a reaction that escalates the situation . . . I think that behavior management really isn’t about managing somebody else’s behavior. It’s about how to manage your own behavior.”
On the “Empower.” from CPI’s “Educate. Empower. Enrich.” tagline (8:35)
“The empower is really when somebody gets educated on techniques, not answers, but how to process the thinking, how to come to the right way to address a situation. That’s an empowerment that is powerful, and I think it gives somebody a sense of why they were there.”
Does CPI training really work? (9:12)
“Certainly, one of the biggest challenges is helping somebody recognize that this really works. If you could just slow down and not jump to your instincts, you could process it with some kind of framework to apply to how you’re processing it, that the outcomes will actually be better. The instincts, I think, are physical. ‘How do I handle this in a physical way?’ If you could slow it down and have the right training to adjust your instincts to process it differently, the outcomes can be better, but that takes a high degree of confidence that this really works. If you’re faced, in those day-to-day situations, where you feel unsafe, chances are you’re going to go to your instincts. So the training has to be there in place, in a way that it becomes more of your instincts. That’s a leap of faith you got to take.”
Do you use CPI behavioral models in your personal life? (15:56)
"Well, certainly. I have kids! So it’s funny because I hear a lot of folks who have been through the training say the same thing, that you can apply these techniques to how you’re communicating with anybody. Certainly with kids, it’s a great outlet. So yeah, it certainly helped. It’s helped me not overreact to my children, because I have a daughter who had a tendency to throw the rope to me, and I was very aware to not pick up that rope."