Archive | Business personalities

Ed Groot

Way back in 1993, Melissa and I first started contemplating opening our own trial consulting practice. Pretty soon, those discussions included a third individual, Ed Groot. The three of us were working for another trial consultant in what can simply be described as a toxic work environment. The three of us started planning what became […]

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I’m not sure why I was compelled to search for Ed Groot on my computer today, but something kept nagging me to do it.  I immediately came across his obituary and read that he passed away on November 30, 2020.  He would have been 80 years old on January 2, 2021.  When David and I […]

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Entrepreneurial Addiction

It is well known that gamblers must occasionally win in order to keep playing their games. The easiest example is that slot machines are programmed to give back a penny or a quarter based on some number of pulls of the handle (or, push of the button). I was thinking about this phenomenon recently when […]

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Interestingly to me, both David and I wrote this post on December 17, 2020, the anniversary of our first retainer check.  Although David and I are in two different cities today, we must both be thinking of Magnus’ beginnings and the hope we had for our continued success.  As anyone who knows me will verify, […]

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Listen as Much as, or More Than, You Talk

Sometimes, these posts almost write themselves. This is one of those times. I am a regular reader of advice columnists in newspapers. (Yes, I still read newspapers, several, in fact, on a daily basis.) “Dear Abby” recently provided some sage advice that included a suggestion for the reader to “listen as much as you talk.” […]

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To borrow from Alex Lifeson of Rush – “Blah blah blah.  Blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah.”  Some of you may recognize this from Alex’s speech following Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It was an amazing thing to hear and watch – because one could, or at least I could, […]

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Dancing in the Rain

My friend, Diana, gave me a lovely plaque with the following quote: “Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about dancing in the rain.” I placed this plaque in an area in my home where I see it multiple times a day. I often pause to reflect upon the meaning of this saying, […]

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We’ve all sure had more than our share of rain this year.  Literally and figuratively.  Thinking of the literal type, we’ve had storms, with and without names in a long time.  Hawaiians have 200 words for rain – and different types of rain.  Jake Shimabukuru, ukelele player extraordinaire, talked about them at a concert we […]

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When things don’t make sense: 28 days off

The work we do as trial consultants requires us to work closely with our attorney clients for several weeks or months, or even years. Clients are typically respectful and courteous. But, as we have written before, there are a few outliers – clients who abuse everyone around them, including us. We have had a few […]

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One of the most interesting aspects in my career as a jury consultant is unrelated to the expertise I provide to my clients on things such as trial strategy, jury selection, and witness preparation.  This interesting aspect of my job happens when my clients, all of whom are educated and intelligent attorneys, forget I am, […]

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Altruists and Narcissists

As a follow up to my last post containing the self assessment survey, I will outline several characteristics that differentiate altruists from narcissists. First of all, some definitions are in order, lest there be any doubt about these terms. An altruist is a person who has concern for other people’s welfare. He or she can […]

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Givers or takers.  Perhaps that is another way to relate to this topic.  The world has too many examples of narcissists; it is easy to identify many of them in the political realm.  Because politics is public, it is easiest to see them, though narcissists are certainly not limited to politics.  Examples from the business […]

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How Well do You Know Yourself?

One of the things I enjoy most in life is designing scientific research, including experiments and surveys. Now that I, like most people I know, have more free time than usual, due to worldwide circumstances beyond my control, I decided to devise a personality inventory to allow people to conduct a self assessment. The short […]

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Strange times have caused many strange reactions and behaviors.  Melissa’s survey asks some pertinent questions.  We have friends and family members who are coping with the pandemic, and with politics, in very different ways.  These are, without a doubt, tough times and our country, our world, is incredibly divided.  How we manage our stresses and […]

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I’ve Got a Bartender Ear

There are many inspirations for David’s and my posts, but the most common source of my inspirations is music. I love music, more than I love psychology, and the interrelationship of music and psychology is fascinating to me. One of my favorite musicians is Jimmy Buffett, who wrote a song called, “School Boy Heart.” There […]

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It is fascinating to observe Melissa being approached by friends, and, with some regularity, strangers, with their problems.  Sometimes, significant problems.  She has told me that it was, in part, because of this frequent occurrence that she studied psychology.  But, beyond that bartender ear, listening is a very important skill for business and life – […]

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I’ve Got a Lot to Learn

I’ve got a lot to learn. In fact, I’ve got more things to learn than time remaining in my life to learn about them. I learn new things every day. The learning process, for me, never stops. In my occupation as a social psychologist, I routinely read about the new research in my area. I […]

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Thinking one knows everything about everything, or even everything about one thing, is usually a sign that the know it all person is badly mistaken.  There are always more things to learn and those at the top of their professions, or specialities, know that.  There are people who believe they know just enough to get […]

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Panic codes – “Buddy”

This is the 3rd and final post about panic at the mock jury research. Things happen. Bad things. Some are technical, some may involve the client, and some may involve the mock jurors. But, there are things about which some people would panic, which are better discussed outside the presence of the clients or mock […]

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As David mentioned, we at Magnus had the privilege to work with the late Buddy Payne first, as a client, and then, upon his retirement from the practice of law, as our very own advisor.  Although Buddy passed away many years ago, his spirit is still among us, from the beautiful ring he gave me […]

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