“Your CPI training paid off!”

In this month’s Unrestrained, a CPI podcast, Denise Esson tells the story of two men who were working quietly at computers in an employment agency’s resource area. She was the counselor on duty and was monitoring user activity at her own computer.

Suddenly, the hushed, business-as-usual atmosphere was shattered by a loud, hostile voice, and one of the men, a regular visitor to the agency, was shouting at the other, accusing him of putting garbage into a paper shredder. The aggressor was now on his feet and moving toward the other user while pointing his finger at him. Denise observed that he was highly agitated, and it was at this moment that she put several CPI training techniques into action to de-escalate the situation.
Photo: turk_stock-photographer / iStock

What happened next can only be told by Denise—and as her supervisor wrote in a memo to the team after the incident: “Your CPI training paid off!” Listen to the podcast to learn why.

How an Ontario employment agency provides respect, service, and safety

According to Denise, an employment counselor of Employment Services Elgin, their typical user is “darn near anyone.” The agency is part of a government-funded program called Employment Ontario that provides support to residents across the province in their quest to explore career opportunities and obtain employment. Clients who use agency services range from teenagers to folks of post-retirement age. The agency provides them free access to employment counseling, a variety of employment workshops, and assistance with job matching and placements.

Regardless of age, these job seekers all share a common struggle. They’ve often been displaced or laid-off from employment, receive limited income or none at all, and they arrive at Employment Services Elgin under profound stress, looking for support and guidance. This stress can often manifest itself as challenging behavior. To help manage the agency environment and provide better outcomes, Employment Services Elgin embraces CPI’s Prepare Training® program and its core values of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®.

When small bumps combine to create major stress, CPI training can help

To highlight how CPI training has become a primary resource in the agency’s toolbox, Denise uses the analogy of damage a vehicle might sustain because of poorly paved roads. Even though there might not be a pothole or bump big enough to instantly break an axle and put the vehicle out of commission, a series of small potholes or bumps can combine to have a compound effect that eventually results in equally major damage.

As Denise sees it, “That’s similar to what happens when people have multiple things going on. They lose their job, and then that puts their bank account at risk. Maybe they've got a child that's in daycare and they have to take care of those costs, and somebody going off to university, and they have to take care of those. And then they're late to get to an appointment at our office because of the line-up at the coffee shop or they got stopped by a train. Those are all those little, tiny bumps in the road, but you start putting them all together, and if it happens to be on a day that they're coming in for an appointment, they can be quite literally ready to explode once they reach [our office].”
Photo: 5xinc / iStock

Through the lens of CPI training, Denise views contact with clients who come in under this kind of accumulated stress as an opportunity to provide support, repair some of the damage to their day, and assist them in getting to their next destination or goal. “We can't necessarily change the circumstances that created the stressors, but we can certainly avoid adding to them or increasing them in any way. That is where the CPI Prepare Training® becomes that primary resource in our toolbox,” says Denise.

“Every interaction in our life, everybody in our life, is an opportunity to put CPI into action.”

Denise made this observation during our pre-interview, and it’s a beautiful summary of the usefulness of CPI training. At the end of our interview, I asked Denise to expand on her comment.

She replied, “CPI training is not exclusive to workplace settings. It is meant to be used in the workplace, but I truly believe that you take it with you in your daily interactions with your family, your friends, your colleagues, customers, clients, neighbors, people walking by, driving. For me, it's those basic principles of the training that grow out of the basic principles of humanity and decency. Respect each other. Be a servant to each other. Keep each other safe. That's life. That's good living.”

@CPI_Training means every interaction is a chance to respect each other and keep each other safe.

We agree. If your organization is looking for proven strategies that improve outcomes through respect, service, and safety, CPI training is a preparation for success.

Guest Biography

Denise Esson is a CPI Certified Instructor and employment counselor with over 15 years of service at Employment Services Elgin, a community agency in St. Thomas, Ontario. She provides counseling to individuals and small groups seeking employment and career supports. With a background education in psychology and criminology as well as community advocacy, Denise has expertise working with a variety of participant groups, and strives to provide client-centered service and guidance. She is a lifelong learner who pursues professional development relevant to her field of practice, and she embraces CPI's Prepare Training® model and its core values of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®.

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