Archive | Business Frustrations

Don’t give them a freebie

The title of this blog is a something I tell new Magnus staff when trying to explain the need to do their job with as near perfection as is humanly possible. Don’t give the client anything to complain about – that’s the goal. Not that there won’t be any complaints, but make them about things […]

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Decades ago, Magnus had an employee who believed she could learn only as a result of making mistakes. She assured David and me, upon making mistake after mistake, that she never made the same mistake twice; rather, she made new mistakes that she truly believed were acceptable. Needless to say, we were quite relieved when […]

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People want to be appreciated

A friend/client recently told Melissa and me that his father, a long time judge in Miami, often told him that “People just want to be appreciated.” We were discussing the frequency with which lawyers often seem not to appreciate the effort that goes into, for example, “free proposals.” (As a digression, while I interact with […]

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When David and I recently heard this phrase, “People just want to be appreciated,” from our friend, we reflected on this truism. Regardless of who one is, the status one has achieved in life, and other variables, all of us want to believe our contributions have made a difference in someone’s life. I learned this […]

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Busy is Good!

Being busy is a good thing when you own your own business, law practice, etc. I find it interesting, though, that other people do not share my perspective. From time to time, when speaking with someone who doesn’t quite appreciate that busy is good, I try to understand why. When this happens, the person to […]

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Busy is good. In fact, being busy is great! As the co-owner of a business, I am keenly aware that the only way we can survive, in the long term, is by being busy more often than not having work to do. Of course, as in most businesses, our work volume ebbs and flows, often […]

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“You’re Not Cheap!”

I recently attended a meeting with an attorney, who is a client of mine, and the attorney’s client, the person who paid for my services. It is rare in my world of jury/trial consulting to attend a meeting that involves the “end client,” that is, the party to the litigation, as opposed to his/her/its attorney. […]

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Melissa was still laughing about this encounter when she returned from this meeting. We both chuckled about it after she shared it. She is clearly not cheap. I can attest to that! But, in the context of business, we have never had the goal of being cheap. We are often not the most expensive trial […]

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“You’re Making Me Look Bad” (Because I Didn’t Read the Contract)

More often than one may think, I’ve been told by attorneys, who are the majority of our clients, that they never read our contract. This usually emerges when some detail “surprises” them. Yes, they received and later signed the contract to authorize our work. Yet, they often indicate that they did not see or understand […]

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It has been my experience, more often than not, when someone says “You’re making me look bad,” it is actually the case that the person saying this is making himself/herself look bad. Think about it. How many times has someone else made you look bad? Looking bad is something most people can do on their […]

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Not Telling Client About Proposal

Some of these posts are prompted by the puzzling events which occur when operating a business, especially one with high stakes, with litigious people, and the stressors of succeeding when facing tremendous pressure and challenges. I recently met with an attorney who asked me to meet with him about a case and ultimately requested a […]

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Just when David and I think we have “been there,” “done that,” or “heard everything,” a new client dilemma surfaces. Never, in all the years (almost 3 decades, in fact!) I have worked as a trial/jury consultant have I known about an attorney who was a prospective client, after requesting both a meeting and detailed […]

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The meaning of R.S.V.P.

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On May 8, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Work-Life

I mentioned in a previous post that many people with whom I am in contact fail to return phone calls, reply to emails, or thank me for things. Related to these discourteous behaviors is the failure to R.S.V.P. to an invitation. In the event the reader does not know the meaning of “R.S.V.P.,” it is […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On May 8, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Common Courtesy, Getting Through Life and Work, Life Outside of Work, Work-Life

The party which prompted this post was a few months ago, but this seems to be a timeless topic. Just this week, I read a discussion of the failure of people to R.S.V.P. in a nationally syndicated advice column. It is such a pervasive issue that the advice columnist just said “accept it” and advised […]

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Return calls, Reply to emails, Be courteous

Many things in the lives of adults are related to the way in which we were brought up as children. If, for example, someone was taught by his/her parents to prefer Fords over Chevys, or to cheer for the Pittsburgh Pirates instead of the Boston Red Sox, these long standing habits are likely to be […]

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Melissa approaches the topic of “Return calls, Reply to emails, Be courteous” as an etiquette issue, and it is. Working for and with trial lawyers is challenging, sometimes. The general public’s impression of attorneys is not always the most favorable, to put it simply. The perceived lack of courtesy may explain part of that. And, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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