Archive | Employment

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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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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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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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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Portable Food/Defensive Eating

It harkens back to my Boy Scout, “Be Prepared” days, but this topic of portable food is another of those basic, seemingly common sense items, that may not be so common “sensical” to everyone. The concept is simple. Schedules change, flights get delayed, the judge decides to work through lunch, the research facility is behind […]

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During my first interview for a job as a trial consultant, which took place in Manhattan, the experienced consultant who interviewed me asked if I was aware that working as a trial consultant required “defensive eating.” Maybe because I was awed at the sight of the Manhattan skyline from high above 57th Street, or uncomfortable […]

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Don’t waste time

A post on which I was first author was titled, “Time is Precious.” This, related, post is a reminder: Don’t waste time. People have varying conceptions of time. Some of these conceptualizations are culturally based, while others are personality based. I have an acquaintance who boastfully stated she is “never” on time for church, but […]

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There are so many time wasters in the world today, many held in the palm of a hand in the form of a smart phone. As I posted previously, some things which appear to be wasting time are not. Waiting unnecessarily, as Melissa references, is not one of those times. With friends, perhaps, there is […]

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Look it up

These days, information awaits us almost everywhere. Merely by typing a name, phrase, or word into any cell phone’s search engine, one can find out a plethora of information about that person, corporation, town, entity, etc. A couple of years ago, I had a “creepy feeling” about one of Magnus’ vendors. I typed his name […]

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Before there were millennials, I sometimes turned to my younger brother, Stephen, and asked him questions to look up somewhere. If the subject was of interest to him, on sharks or alligators and rock & roll, for example, he’d be my information source. That was after my days with an outdated World Book Encyclopedia at […]

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Learn to spell

Not everyone can spell well enough to win a spelling bee. However, almost everyone living in an industrialized society has access to a multitude of resources on spelling. I have known many, many people who thoughtlessly write or type something, never caring enough to ensure their words are spelled correctly, only to say, “I can’t […]

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Building on our reading post, spelling and vocabulary are related in my mind. When one reads, he/she is often exposed to unfamiliar words. And seeing those words surely must help spelling them correctly. But, the point of my post on this topic is that misspelling (and/or using the wrong word – English can get confusing […]

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Multi tasking: When to do it and When not to do it

It seems that, in almost every work environment, people talk about multitasking.  In every field, other than perhaps repetitive assembly lines, it seems that many jobs require doing, or being ready to do, more than 1 task within a given work shift, hour, or minute.  I know mine involves: consulting, marketing, managing staff, strategic planning, […]

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There are times to multitask and times to work on one project until its completion. Think about it. How many of us have ever hired a general contractor or other home renovation person, only to have him work a couple of hours at our house, then leave in the middle of the project to work […]

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Read and read more

In my opinion, it is impossible to read too much, to learn too much, or to broaden my horizons too much. People tend to live in their own small worlds, rarely interacting with others who have different points of view, and as a result, they become staid and dull. People who don’t read, but who, […]

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Reading is an topic on which Melissa and I agree. We read some of the same things, newspapers, but many different things, like our choices in magazines and books. When it comes to magazines, we inevitably mark or save articles from our individual publications for the other to see – the shared interests of being […]

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