The Love Hate Relationship Between You and Your Supervisor

What are dream supervisors made up of? Well, a dream supervisor has the following qualities

  • Wisdom
  • Positivity
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical clarity
  • Patience
  • In-depth knowledge
  • Creativity
  • Empathy, to name a few.

I am sure by the end of the list, you have understood pretty well that dream supervisors do not exist and are merely utopian. Even if you come across a person who has all the above traits and is willing to be your supervisors, remember to acknowledge that they are humans and not saints and most of the time they are so pressurised with their own jobs and perhaps even frustrated that they can’t shower all their goodness on their scholars. Whatever be your supervisor like, but he would surely want to see you succeed and not be a failure. It is an expectation with a selfish expectation attached to it as with your success is associated their reputation and subsequent promotions in the future. For a while during your PhD course, if you stop performing it starts to reflect in the position of your supervisor in the department. No way can you take this relationship for granted, even for a short while during your complete PhD journey.

With all the connection that you and you supervisor have and where you success is interdependent, surprisingly your supervisor may not exactly tell you what to do or what is expected from you. This can frustrate you or make you feel disconnected with your supervisor but don’t do that. As a scholar, you need to be pragmatic and take initiatives to meet and interact with your supervisor as you would need that advice from time to time. You need not wait or look for an initiative from your supervisor rather ask queries and seek advice from time to time. Rarely would you find supervisors who themselves get in touch and provide inputs without the scholar asking for it.

Remember that the ball is in your court always and at the same time, whether you like it or not but your success is dependent on the single most significant individual. You have to be focused on understanding the role and advice of your supervisor for a smooth as well as successful PhD experience.

Try to schedule quality time for discussion with your supervisor. They are busy people and may give you erratic responses depending on their work pressure and state of mind. Give them attention if you want them to give you attention. That’s the only way that you can ensure they focus on you and your PhD remains on their priority list.

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