Archive | Managing Employees

Clients are People Too

Clients are people too.  I repeat, clients are people too.  This may seem obvious to the astute reader, however, there have been many occasions on which I have had to remind my staff to treat our clients like people, instead of merely treating them like clients.  Magnus’ clients are high powered attorneys, insurance adjusters, risk […]

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On a research day it is a bit of a toss up who the most important people in the room are. The participants, i.e., mock jurors are critical to our projects. Without them we cannot do our work. But, without the clients, we have no work to do. Our support staff usually is comfortable with […]

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Soldier First

Recently, David and I were honored to attend the graduation ceremony of our dear friend, Suzanne, from the United States Army Judge Advocate (J.A.G.) training program.  Suzanne is an amazing young woman, about whom we have written in other posts, and whom we have known for her entire life.  She has excelled in everything she […]

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Melissa suggested that I read the Soldier’s Creed prior to responding to her comments about Suzanne, and I will add that I agree that Suzanne’s humanity is one of her many assets. But, as I read the Creed, I realized that it is very fitting for Suzanne, of course now, but parts of it have […]

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Reducing Uncertainty

This post builds on the evolution of our experiences as trial consultants and goes further back in that history than a related post on a similar topic.  When Melissa and I first developed the marketing materials for our new trial consulting practice (in 1993), we started from scratch on everything.   In time, we developed […]

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As I have mentioned in previous posts, attorneys and psychologists have vastly different personalities and philosophies of life. As a social psychologist, I am, first and foremost, a scientist. Generally speaking, I require facts, figures, data, statistical analyses, and other science based information to make an informed decision about something important. Absent this type of […]

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Poseurs

We all know poseurs. Poseur is a French word derived from pose and poser and as we all know, it is used to describe someone who adopts a fake or insincere way of presenting himself/herself to others. There are all kinds of poseurs, including many politicians and celebrities, who affect their public image in ways […]

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I’m sure that Melissa and I are compatible because we share this genuine personality trait. I’ve never “gotten” or understood the poseurs – whether high school jocks or cheerleaders, or in any other context, including our current work. I know that in our current work, trial consulting, our clients have to put on a “show” […]

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Entrpreneurial Hats

I don’t wear (real) hats that often, unless I’m going to be in the sun, or in the cold weather.  I have lot of hats, a habit of collecting them picked up from my Dad.  He has quite a collection, many of them from trucking companies or manufacturers.  In fact, as a child I thought […]

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David is right: I don’t wear as many hats in owning and operating our business as he does. My job primarily consists of preparing for research projects, for example, mock trials; conducting research; preparing detailed reports containing research results and recommendations for litigation strategies; supervising our research team; selecting juries; making presentations to lawyers, insurance […]

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Generational Work Ethics

Digressing before I get started, I begin this post by reporting that Melissa and I read many newspapers, magazines and professional publications to stay current. Melissa subscribes to and promptly reads many psychology journals and publications. This post was prompted by a January 2017 Monitor on Psychology article synopsis reporting findings from a meta-analysis of […]

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Stereotyping, although it is commonplace, is never a good idea. I will repeat: Stereotyping is never a good idea. Social psychologists, beginning with Dr. Gordon Allport in 1948, have studied stereotypes and their negative impact on decision making in a multitude of contexts. Research on stereotyping has, in general terms, revealed that stereotypes contain a […]

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Common sense

Let’s face it: Some people have no common sense. Other people have some common sense and then there are those fortunate people who have an abundance of what is often referred to as “horse sense.” Like other personality traits, common sense is present on a continuum, with certain people having more than others. Life experience […]

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It has been interesting as an employer to observe the common sense, and intellectual sense, of employees – at all levels. As Melissa pointed out, a high degree of education often has no correlation with common sense. In fact, in the many years I have known Melissa, I have observed that some of her colleagues […]

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Take Initiative

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On January 19, 2017

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Getting through life and work, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

I’ve been reflecting on what makes a good employee, a good student, or even a “good soldier.” One variable I think makes a tremendous difference is the willingness of an individual to take initiative to get things done. And, borrowing, and modifying the use of the term “lean in” from the 2013 book by Sheryl […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On January 19, 2017

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Getting through life and work, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

People vary on the personality dimension David refers to as taking initiative. Some people are on the lower end of the spectrum, and are colloquially referred to as “slackers,” while other people are on the higher end of the spectrum, and are often referred to as “taking charge,” “leaders,” and “dependable,” among other things, while […]

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Catching Juror with her Pants Down

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On December 29, 2016

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

Melissa recently initiated a series of blog posts about Crazy Juror stories. In writing these posts, I was reminded of another crazy juror story, which wasn’t really that crazy, but it is now in our company folklore and we continue to chuckle about it. A number of years ago, we were working on a large […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On December 29, 2016

Category: Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success, Trial Consulting

The expression, “caught with your pants down” has, for many years, had a literal interpretation for those of us at Magnus. (The Detroit experience was memorable for several other reasons, including hearing one of my employees inform our client that she wished she were a princess living in a castle, but that has been covered […]

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

This expression which is the title of this post is credited to English author Charles Caleb Colton’s writing in 1820. I don’t feel flattered. To explain, Melissa and I formed Magnus Research Consultants, Inc. in 1993. We worked hard to come up with a name that fit many criteria we established for our new, nameless, […]

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I respectfully disagree with Mr. Colton about being flattered by imitation. Think about it. Is imitation leather flattering to real leather? Is eating imitation cheese ever a good idea? What exactly is imitation crab imitating? I could go on. When David and I discovered that one of our competitors had copied our name, we were […]

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