Archive | Entrepreneurship

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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Hiding behind Email

Prompted by my posts about “different direction” and “ghosting,” a related phenomenon is hiding behind email, especially as a way to deliver bad news. Maybe it is just me, but it seems a matter of professionalism and fairness that, if one asks someone else to do something like prepare a proposal for consulting services, the […]

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I love to discuss, and write about, etiquette.  As a social psychologist, I am keenly aware of the social norms involved in etiquette, which involves far more than knowing which fork to use.  There is a certain etiquette involved in communicating with others, in both professional and personal settings.  This includes “responding in kind” to […]

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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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Tribute to Willy

I am writing this on March 3, 2021, one of the saddest days in the long history of Magnus Research Consultants. Last night, our beloved office dog, Willy, passed away of a brain tumor. Willy was the dog of David’s and my wonderful employee and friend, Megan. For the past 7 years, Willy worked in […]

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As you can tell, this dog, Willy, was truly hu(mans) best friend.  Willy and Megan were tight – she trained him well.  And, he trained her well also.  She communicated with him in his language – she knew what he was trying to tell her.  Usually things like, pay attention to me, feed me, walk […]

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Better Than “Different Direction”

As a follow up to David’s last post regarding the soul killing phrase “We have decided to move in a different direction,” I will provide alternative phrases that are more appropriate forms of rejection. Keeping in mind that David, and other consultants, spend considerable time and money speaking with prospective clients, preparing proposals outlining the […]

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I like that-“vapid euphemisms.”  In my most recent vapid encounter, vapid also seemed to apply to the paralegal who called me.  Whether it was her fault or not, she not only had insufficient information to give me as to what the attorney purportedly wanted (which was an inappropriate research design, given what she did know), […]

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Different Direction

Last week I got a call from a paralegal who asked me to provide a proposal for a mock trial for a commercial case.  She told me that, although she’d been a paralegal for 25 years, she had never shopped for a trial consultant.  I walked her through the process, provided her with information on […]

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If you think about it, and I certainly have, “We are moving in a different direction” or “We are moving in another direction” is meaningless drivel.  This statement has somehow become common when it comes to rejecting job applicants, consultants’ proposals, and people, in general.  In preparing for my part of David’s post, I have […]

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Ghosting

Ghosting. This is a relatively new term used to indicate what might otherwise be called “radio silence,” that is, a loss of communications. Despite the many ways we can now communicate, via email, text, direct messaging, “zoom” calls, or even the good old phone or maybe “snail” mail, it amazes me that we often end […]

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Ghosting is rude, unprofessional, and, when it comes to friends and family, mean.  I have been ghosted on several occasions, by long time friends who chose to cut me out of their lives for unknown reasons.  One of these friends remained out of touch for about 20 years, another, for 7 years, and another, 6 […]

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No One Has Ever Said They Wish Their Jury Research Had Been Later

In almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus Research Consultants, David and I have been fortunate to have few complaints from clients. When there have been complaints, they have been of the following type: (1) “Your report is too long and comprehensive; it took too long for me to read”; (2) ”The charts summarizing […]

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This topic is salient because I had the discussion again recently, “What is your lead time for conducting research? My client wants to put it off as long as possible, because maybe they can settle…”  I patiently explained that the ramp up period, once we’ve provided a proposal, agreed on the research design, gotten approval […]

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Mercy of the Court

Twice this week, when talking with clients, or prospective clients, I’ve been told they are waiting on the judge to do something. The language they used was “I’m at the mercy of the court.” Their lamentations are painful reminders of the nature of our work. Often the idea of “mercy of the court” is mentioned, […]

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“I’m at the mercy of…” usually means one is powerless to protect oneself from someone or something.  When attorneys tell David and me they are at the mercy of the Court, this expression doesn’t have the same ominous meaning that it does in other contexts.  Often, attorneys mention being at the Court’s mercy as a […]

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Juggling

I shot a photograph of a juggler a couple years ago when I was wandering the streets of New York City while there to work on a client’s case. My eye was drawn to the colorful balls flying in the air so I walked toward the area behind the main NYC library. Turns out, several […]

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Most people have a difficult time “walking in someone else’s shoes.”  We live our daily lives, caught up in dealing with our personal issues, rarely giving much thought to what other people are going through.  David and I have a dear friend who, for as long as we have known her, has been battling a […]

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