Archive | Managing Employees

The problem isn’t the problem. The problem is the response.

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On November 1, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

Stuff happens (you may have seen this phrase as a bumper sticker with a different “S” word). That’s right, things happen. Lightning strikes. Gremlins materialize. In our trial consulting work, there are frequent technical issues that lead to problems. With competent staff, they are kept to a minimum, but there are times when, for example, […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On November 1, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

Things can, and do, go wrong. People have bad days. Machines break (particularly, my computer, when I seem to need it the most!). Glitches happen to supposedly “foolproof” plans. Living life according to Plan B, and sometimes, Plan C, is part of most people’s everyday existence. What differentiates us is the way in which we […]

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When to break rules

I am not a “Goody Two Shoes” by any means, however, I usually play by the rules, regardless of the situation. I would never, ever, park in a disabled parking space unless I am transporting a disabled passenger, I do not try to outrun trains at a railroad crossing, and I clap my hands along […]

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It is probably because of my schooling from 6th to 12th grades which, while not Catholic school, was very strict. Lots of rules, and at some point I started asking “why?”. I did not ask “why” to be obstinate. Rather, when things seemed arbitrary, it seemed like a fair question. Some things were clearly safety […]

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Act like the cat

As everyone who knows me will confirm, I love cats! I have spent a lot of time with a lot of cats, including my own cats, other people’s cats, and the cats who were available for adoption when I worked at the Humane Society in Miami during college. Cats, unlike humans, rarely appear to make […]

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I kicked our cat the other night. It was an accident, really it was. One thing about many cats, ours included, is that they can be stealthy when they want to be – it’s all about survival. Rex sneaked up behind me when I was packing – an activity he has learned to dislike because […]

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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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Jurors and the Internet

During my recent jury duty experience, I noticed posters around the assembly room entitled “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media” produced by the National Center for State Courts and Center for Jury Studies. I am well aware of the issues related to jurors and social media or the internet. And, I think I’d […]

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David probably violated a rule when he took a photo of the sign, “Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media.” The courthouse personnel who posted the sign should have posted another sign that said, “Take no photographs of this sign.” During Magnus’ jury research projects, I fill the role of the judge, meaning I […]

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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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Chains or Local Restaurants?

On this dimension, I have observed that people fall into 1 of 2 categories. There are people who prefer large, national chain restaurants over local restaurants and those, like me, who prefer local restaurants over chains, for the most part. Perhaps I learned this from my Dad, who was always on the road during his […]

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No offense to the readers of this post who like chain restaurants, however, as a rule, I loathe them. I will go out of my way to avoid eating at a chain restaurant whenever possible. I prefer to patronize local eateries wherever I travel, both for business and pleasure. There are exceptions, of course, including […]

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