Archive | Careers

Cream & Sugar

Recently, I met a client/friend, or perhaps friend/client for “coffee.” Coffee is in quotes because I rarely drink it; I ordered iced tea. Here’s what went down. Robert asked for a coffee, with a little room for cream. The barista dude said “We only provide milk products for our lattes and cappuccinos. Our brewed coffee […]

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Readers of David’s and my posts often remark to me that they wonder when, or if, we will ever deplete our supply of topics about which to write. I believe this is highly doubtful, due to the colorful lives we live and our unique ways of looking at the world around us. Who would have […]

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My Favorite lawyers are Gators: Kim, Pat, Charles, Suzanne, Buddy

As anyone who knows me, even slightly, will attest, I have never been a “school spirit” kind of person. No “rah rah, go team, go” for me. It’s just not who I am. When I decided to pursue my doctorate degree in psychology, I applied to 10 schools and I was accepted for admission to […]

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Melissa came to this realization not that long ago, and she had to admit the University of Florida must not be all bad. It is not that she is a “rah rah” Seminole fan, instead, it is only an ironic realization that these 5 attorneys, as well as others who are double or single Gators, […]

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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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The Social Psychology of Etiquette

This third post in a series about good manners, courtesy, and kindness combines my education, training, and experience as a social psychologist with something with which I have always been fascinated: etiquette. Unlike almost everyone else I know, I love the rules of etiquette and I try, diligently, to follow them in everything I do. […]

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Melissa is much more of a student of, and teacher of, etiquette than am I. And she has taught me a thing or two in this regard over the past 30+ years. But, I had some other good teachers, including my mother, and another person about whom I wrote previously, Jon Peters. Jon corrected me […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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30 Years

30 years. Sounds like a long time. Sometimes it feels like a long time, but I’m here to say, having being married to Melissa for 30 years, I’m left wondering where has the time gone – it has gone so fast! We recently celebrated this milestone and, although some of the readers know, I’m sharing […]

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In many ways, celebrating a 30th anniversary is remarkable! The divorce rate in America is approximately 50%, with many marriages breaking up well before the 10 year mark. David and, I are, as many people describe, “happily married.” This is not to say we agree on everything, enjoy doing exactly the same things, or don’t […]

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