About this blog

After more than 20 years operating a trial consulting practice together as co-founding partners of Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. and Magnus Graphics, Inc., and more than 25 years of marriage, Dr. Melissa Pigott and David Fauss decided to share some of their thoughts, experiences, pet peeves, and perspectives on operating a small “mom & pop” business. The intended audience for their writings is other business owners, as well as employees of small businesses. Trial consulting is a professional service business, as was David’s photography business. There are many unique issues faced by professional service providers; Melissa and David share some of their insights on running a successful business.

Herman/Dad

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On April 19, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work

Dad, aka Herman, was a road warrior throughout his career, even before that term existed! And, all of his career was spent trying to keep other road warriors safe. His first job, post college, was with the now extinct Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) – a Federal agency tasked with transportation law and safety. Dad recently […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On April 19, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work

David’s dad is David’s dad, but to me, he is “MY Herman.” I am as fond of my father-in-law, Herman, as I am of my mother-in-law, Carole. This being said, My Herman and I have always had a special relationship. I share Herman’s love of barbeque, particularly ribs, and I have always appreciated his knowledge […]

Continue Reading

David Cassidy or Jimi Hendrix?

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On April 17, 2018

Category: Business personalities, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work

At the time of this writing, David Cassidy has recently passed away. (For the reader who does not know who David Cassidy was, I urge you to use your computer search engine to find out.) David Cassidy was a singer and TV star who was, for many people, mostly teenaged girls, the embodiment of a […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On April 17, 2018

Category: Business personalities, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work

Melissa does like it loud! Some of her favorite things are loud, including the Corvette she drove for many years. Both its engine and sound system were loud (the latter had to be to be heard over the engine of the former). She plays bass guitar, loud, and seeing/hearing loud rock & roll shows is […]

Continue Reading

Carole/Mom

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On April 12, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work

The focus of this post is a brief reflection on my mother, Carole’s, well lived life, following a realization that it is important to consider who she really was throughout most of her life. (Her recent condition can taint those memories; see “Chicken Salad” post.) Born in Atlanta, mom moved to Jacksonville after my parents […]

Continue Reading

Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On April 12, 2018

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work

As I have mentioned in several previous posts, David’s mother, Carole, was never just my mother-in-law. A mother-in-law, in my opinion, is merely the person who happens to be the mother of one’s spouse. When marrying someone, one gains a mother-in-law, as long as one’s spouse has a mother. Mothers-in-law come in all shapes and […]

Continue Reading

Remembering Billy Graham

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On April 10, 2018

Category: Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Work-Life

On the day I am writing this post, Billy Graham recently passed away at the age of 99. The tributes to him are numerous and, as a long time admirer of Rev. Graham and his unique brand of religion, including promoting Christianity to the masses, I thought it would be a good idea to add […]

Continue Reading

Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On April 10, 2018

Category: Growing Old is Not for Sissies, Life Outside of Work, Work-Life

I smile with the memory of Leola, so giddy with excitement, at seeing Billy Graham. I realize that no one is perfect, and Rev. Graham would probably say that before anyone else would, but is refreshing in today’s world to consider someone who did such good in the world, without a major controversy. Even his […]

Continue Reading

Dialing for Dollars

Part of my job operating a small business is marketing; part of that marketing effort involves making sales calls. I think most business people, small or large, can relate. It (the business) is (almost) all about the marketing. Some of these are to “friendlies” – that is, past clients or contacts. Some of these calls […]

Continue Reading

In our business, sales and marketing calls are a fact of life. I daresay I have spent more time during my career in marketing/sales pursuits than in doing any other task. If there is no marketing, in fact, there will be no work for anyone at Magnus to perform. Over the years we have been […]

Continue Reading

Followers

I have heard some parents extol their children’s leadership abilities while, simultaneously, praising their children for not being a follower, “like everyone else.” This dual conception of leadership, while it may appear on the surface to be accurate, is not supported by decades of social psychological research. Most widely accepted social psychological definitions of leadership […]

Continue Reading

“Lead, follow, or get out of my way.” This quote from General George S. Patton, Jr. is quoted with some variation in many discussions about leaders and followers. It came to my mind reading Melissa’s post. Her post made me realize that considering what leads to following is perhaps more interesting in some ways than […]

Continue Reading

The “Trial Show”

Two recent cases on which we conducted mock trials prompted this post. In the first, the lawyers presenting the case did so using 8×10 photographs of the incident scene which they held up in front of the group of mock jurors. No enlargement, no projection, just a photo. Post research, I attempted to “encourage” the […]

Continue Reading

Most people learn new information via more than one method, including auditory, visual, and kinetic means. Reliance on only one method of learning may or may not be sufficient, but considerable research has shown learning that involves multiple methods is more likely to result in greater memory for what was learned than learning that takes […]

Continue Reading

Leaders

Leaders and leadership have been studied by social psychologists for decades. The most widely accepted definition of leader is a person who influences group activities. A leader is someone who uses social power to move others in a desired direction by getting other people to follow his/her suggestions or orders. Most people, at one time […]

Continue Reading

Organizational leadership is also a well studied field, but given our day to day work, I want to comment on the foreperson as leader fallacy that Melissa mentioned. As Melissa pointed out, forepersons are often nominated based on some form of experience. I was nominated as foreperson when I served on a jury because, after […]

Continue Reading

Impression Management, part 2: Snap Judgments

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (January 31, 2018, page A9), “The Mistakes You Make in a Meeting’s First Milliseconds,” by Sue Shellenbarger, prompted me to think about first impressions in the courtroom. And, particularly, the jurors’ first impressions of the attorneys. While the attorneys’ first impressions of jurors and witnesses, both fact […]

Continue Reading

I routinely remark to the attorneys who are my clients that the jurors are the “only perfect people in the world.” That is, when one’s fate, and the fate of one’s client, rests in the decision made by a jury, the jury’s decision is final. Furthermore, the jury’s final decision may or may not be […]

Continue Reading

Rewards/Reinforcement

Learning about the relationship of environmental events and behavior is known in psychology as instrumental conditioning. Instrumental conditioning has been studied extensively since the late 1800s, when a psychologist named Dr. E. L. Thorndike devised the “law of effect.” The law of effect, in its simplistic form, is a successful behavior will increase the probability […]

Continue Reading

Over our many years in business, we have used rewards in the form of bonuses or gifts to employees for jobs well done. These have taken various forms, whether end of year/holiday bonuses or a bonus for a research day completed well, as well as other forms, like gift cards for dinners or weekend getaways. […]

Continue Reading

Powered by: BARD Marketing