Archive | Business personalities

Is your consultant a criminal?

This is a strange topic: Is your consultant a criminal? In this context, it is related to your trial consultant. When one hires a new employee, most often, a variety of background checks are conducted. A lawyer’s criminal history is policed by Bar associations; similarly, other licensed professions are vetted. But, what about professions not […]

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In the decades Magnus has been in business, we have found out many things about our employees, vendors, and prospective employees that, absent our checking into them, would have remained hidden.  Often, these secrets were nothing serious, for example, the office administrator we hired, even though we knew she had been arrested for D.U.I.  Then, […]

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Output = Effort x Ability

Social psychologists, as well as other types of psychologists, have studied achievement motivation for many decades. In goal directed situations, there are several ways in which someone can achieve the desired outcome: ability, effort, and luck. Success and failure also depend, of course, on the difficulty of the task being undertaken. When considered together, these […]

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I clearly remember that early employee to whom Melissa referred.  How could I ever forget her?  She tried so hard; she really gave it her all.  But, often, that was not enough.  This made it difficult to manage her without deflating her sense of self.  Reacting to “I tried so hard,” by pointing out her […]

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Exude Competence

Many years ago, when I was working for another trial consultant, one of the clients spoke to my boss and told her that I “exuded competence.” The boss was happy to hear this and to tell me. I took it as a high compliment because it reinforced my goal of doing what I say I’m […]

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David is right.  We have to exude competence if we are to convince others that we possess the expertise necessary to perform a job.  When I first became a trial consultant, way back in 1989, the person who trained me was a particularly tough task master.  He greatly disliked my psychologist’s way of pensively contemplating […]

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Work Life Balance

The term “Work Life Balance” seems to have existed for a long time. In writing this post, I did a bit of quick research and found the concept was not well defined until the last 20 years. Researchers have identified 3 key balance components: time, involvement and satisfaction. When work or life (family) demands are […]

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Due to the lasting impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s workplaces, the issue of work/life balance has taken on a new urgency.  Although many corporations are requiring their employees to return to the office full time, and some workplaces, such as hospitals, never allowed remote working, other employers are struggling for ways to keep their […]

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Happy Roofers

On the day I am writing this post, David’s and my roof is in the third day of being removed, in preparation for a new roof to be installed. Although we have been through this process in the past, in 2005, when we lost the roof on our previous house during Hurricane Wilma, our current […]

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This whole re-roofing process has been an experience. The happy roofers part makes some of it into a positive one. I’ve never seen anything like it. The energy of these guys after 12 hours in the hot sun, on a roof, is inspiring. The work is incredibly hard. The materials are heavy, and what we […]

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The Major League

My family is a baseball family. My dad, the late Park T. Pigott, Sr. played baseball, coached baseball, and generally speaking, lived much of his life for baseball. I am not usually fond of sports analogies, however, recent experiences with clients of Magnus Research Consultants have reminded me of baseball. Almost all of Magnus’ clients […]

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This minor leaguer experience was one of the strangest situations we have had in years.  We had been, to keep up with the baseball analogy, “scouted” by the end client (that is the entity/person paying our bill).  Our ability to work with the lawyer was limited until that scouting was completed.  Admittedly, this process was […]

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Social desirability

Social desirability has important implications in jury selection. Social desirability refers to the phenomenon of saying or doing something because “everybody else” does. For example, when an attorney or a judge asks a prospective juror whether he/she can put aside all biases, predisposed beliefs, and personal feelings and instead, be an impartial judge of the […]

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Answering a question in a socially desirable way implies there is a “right” or expected answer, to some degree.  In the basic courtroom questioning of prospective jurors as to whether they “can be fair,” it is pretty obvious that one is not expected to say “no”.  Being fair is a fundamental trait that most people […]

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Templates – Creating and Using

We spent some time recently updating the templates we use at Magnus. From day 1, I’ve worked on developing templates and, over the years, modifying them to keep up with changes as necessary. We have templates for reports, for contracts, and countless forms that help us keep track of our work. The only thing standardized […]

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David likes forms and templates more than anyone I have ever known.  When we are in the process of developing a new service, David routinely advocates for using a template to ensure things are standardized.  Although all of my questionnaires are custom designed to assess mock jurors’, survey respondents’, and other research participants’ attitudes about […]

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I’m a Professional Judge of Character – Trust my 1st Impression

There have been several notable examples of my, and others’, questioning my first impressions of someone. On all of these occasions, my first impression was correct and unfortunately, questioning it caused negative turns of events. In that, as a psychologist, I am what most people would consider “a professional judge of character,” I have tried […]

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One aspect of owning a business never gets easier – hiring.  I feel like it is always a gamble.  And, I’m apparently not a good gambler because I’ve taken chances on hiring people who turned out to be ill equipped to do our work, or worse, a really bad fit, a bad choice, maybe a […]

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Why be Snarky?

Why be snarky when being snarky is unnecessary, particularly in the business world? One of Magnus vendors is a company with whom we interact on a frequent basis. The principal of this company, which will remain nameless, uses the most insulting tone imaginable when writing emails to me, the client. This person never misses the […]

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Any human to human interaction involves personalities, of course.  Most of the time one doesn’t give that much thought unless there is something that causes friction, something that isn’t comfortable.  Snarky or snide comments are one of those things.  It seems like the “snarker” is just picking, for whatever reason, at minor details.  Life and […]

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