Archive | Business Relationships

I spend more time with lawyers than psychologists/colleagues

I have been a social psychologist for my entire career, however, my occupation has not been in the traditional trajectory within my field. Most social psychologists are university professors. In fact, it is somewhat frowned upon for social psychologists to work in occupations outside academia. My major professor has always looked down upon my work […]

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Melissa has introduced me to more psychologists, and types of psychologists, than I ever knew existed when we first met.  At that time, I was hanging around colleagues in my world of photography.  While the photographers were visually creative, I came to learn and appreciate the creative minds of her psychology colleagues.  Their conceptualization of […]

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Whistleblowing isn’t easy

Much has been in the news lately about people blowing whistles on allegations of corruption and abuse. Without discussing these specific situations, I want to address the act of sounding an alarm, or blowing a whistle. I have written something on this previously, but it warrants revisiting. I will start by saying that, if you […]

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To the uninitiated, whistle blower means the same thing as tattletale.  In fact, dictionary definitions of both terms list them as synonyms, along with others, such as betrayer, informant, nark, rat fink, and snitch.  In my view, there are different circumstances that lead to the characterization of people who “tell on” others.  For example, in […]

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Pro bono work – why do it

In the almost 30 years David and I have owned and operated Magnus Research Consultants, we have been privileged to work on several high profile pro bono cases. Pro bono means “for the public good” and it is usually performed by attorneys for free, that is, at no cost to their clients. Many lawyers are […]

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The pro bono cases on which we’ve worked have been some of the most personally rewarding cases we have handled.  While the intellectual rewards of the work we do are often felt, in these cases, it has been something special.  The cases have been unique, cases with questions no one has had to answer previously, […]

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If someone isn’t nice to me, they won’t see me again, ever.

My time is valuable. It is valuable to me, if not to anyone else. (In that Magnus’ clients compensate my company, and thus, me, in relatively high amounts of money, I would argue that my time is perceived as valuable to someone other than me. But, I digress.) Because I value my time and my […]

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Fortunately, as we wrote in the prior related post, our clients are usually nice, professional, even kind and friendly.  We all know we’re working together for a common goal and egos usually stay in check.  But, there are exceptions. I used the example of a particularly toxic client we once had who, with our help, […]

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Most lawyers who hire me are nice to me

People are people, regardless of their profession. There are some people who are popular and well liked and there are others who are not well liked. Attorneys, of course, are people and, as such, there are some attorneys who are well liked and well respected by their colleagues and then, there are others, whom no […]

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Many of our clients are feared by their opponents, and sometimes, their own staff and litigation team.  I don’t know if the latter is a good thing, but I’ve seen it as an overall positive.  Being feared by the opposition is probably generally positive as long as the fear is because the attorney’s litigation skills […]

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Don’t say yes, when you mean, I don’t know…

We once had an employee who was full of lessons for us. She worked hard, but sometimes she had to work extra hard to overcome her own limitations. This resulted in her inability to focus on a question at hand. And, I don’t know if it was to be dismissive in order to return to […]

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It’s a long, long way from “Yes” to “I don’t know” and, for that matter, from “No” to “I don’t know.”  As anyone who knows me well will assert, I speak in a direct manner, as succinctly as possible.  I rarely “beat around the bush.”  Instead, I say what I mean and I mean what […]

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My job is to help people

Sometimes, when I am asked what I do for a living, I answer, “I help people.” Although the details of my job description have changed over the years, my entire career has been devoted to helping people. In my job as Director of Marketing Research at a large hospital, I was tasked with helping improve […]

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A client called for help this week.  He faces a unexpected challenge of a case that he didn’t think would get to trial – then the judge set a trial date.  With a trial looming, and some extra challenges on the part of his client, he called.  It helped that he is a regular reader […]

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Unpaid Work

As entrepreneurs, Melissa and I often work without getting paid.  The most common example from “my department” is talking with a prospective client about a new case, preparing a proposal, following up, only to hear that the project is a no go.  Perhaps the price was beyond their budget, or the client wanted to use […]

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People who lack the entrepreneurial mindset often can’t relate to David’s and my perspective regarding doing copious amounts of work for which we are not compensated.  As an example, I have made hundreds of presentations to attorneys’ and insurance companies’ associations, most of which have involved zero payment to me.  Why would I do such […]

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Talk to the Boss

Many years ago when we were first starting Magnus, we learned a lesson, the hard way, about trusting clients, even prior clients, or their associates, when making research plans. We met with a client from our prior employer, at his request, and we came up a research plan for one of his cases. After the […]

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“Talk to the boss” was an early, and painful, lesson learned in the early days of Magnus Research Consultants. Related to this learning experience was the realization that, when a client says, “The check is in the mail” or something similar, the check might not actually be in the mail (or sent via overnight delivery […]

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Talk to the mailman – he could be a Beatles fan

Magnus has been headquartered in the same office since 1996. Over the years, we have had a variety of letter carriers, including some who were very nice and others, who were not so nice. I rarely see the letter carrier, due to the location of my office out of sight of our office’s entrance. Once […]

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It is easy in life to overlook others as we go about our daily business. But, one never knows where they will meet a friend or make a useful connection. Perhaps with the mailman, or the landscapers, or any other similar service provider, it is easy to ignore them as we go about being busy. […]

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