Archive | Employment

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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Do You Still Need to Practice?

Recently, I remarked to my bass guitar teacher, Phill Fest, that many of my friends question my need to take bass lessons, due to the fact I have been playing the bass guitar for over 20 years. (This was the subject of a previous post, in which I mentioned that, although I have been playing […]

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I took piano lessons as a child, but fishing seemed much more fun than piano, so I didn’t play piano long!  But, call it what you want, practice, playing, fishing, getting better, and staying strong at anything takes time and effort.  I’ve written about Dr. Fran Kinne before. She started playing piano at age 3 […]

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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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High Anxiety

Magnus’ clients are attorneys involved in high stakes litigation. Whether they represent the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s), they are under a great deal of pressure to get the best result for their clients.  Even when they don’t show it, we know this is a high stress situation.  Putting together a mock jury research project is intense.  […]

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David’s title, “High Anxiety,” instantly reminded me of the 1977 Mel Brooks movie of the same name.  However, that’s where the similarity both begins and ends.  While Mel Brooks’ movie was a farcical comedy, Magnus’ cases are anything but comedic.  Many of our cases are tragic and all of them involve high stakes.  The attorneys […]

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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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Your Momma Doesn’t Work here…

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On April 22, 2021

Category: Business Frustrations, Careers, Employment, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Managing Employees, Small Business Success

This topic has been on my list for a long time. It is another example, among many, where Melissa and I have been surprised at the actions of employees and we have learned something along the way. “Your momma doesn’t work here” might be the start of certain admonitions, such as “Your momma doesn’t work […]

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Readers of David’s and my post may think we sometimes “color the truth” to exaggerate the experiences we have had as employers, small business owners, and consultants with attorneys as clients.  We don’t.  It’s all true.  The truth is, in many instances, more wacky than any story I could invent!  I often think of my […]

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Hard Work

Always learning – that’s the reality of life, and in operating a business. A lesson learned many years ago happened when we hired a young woman as a research associate. She fit all of our hiring criteria for education, background, etc. She was attractive and well dressed. Her appearance was important to her as evidenced […]

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Hooray for Jessica!  As David mentioned, after our experience with one of our former employees, who resigned over too many broken fingernails, we were delighted to hire Jessica Nurek (now Jessica Palomino) because, not only was she qualified for the research associate job, she was not afraid of performing hard work.  Cleaning animal stalls is […]

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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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