The experiences of some of my clients with their dissertation advisors may be explained by research shared with me by Chris Peterson, author of Character Strengths and Virtue and A Primer in Positive Psychology.
According to Chris, the educational level of a person correlates negatively with some of the interpersonal strengths.
Social intelligence is not a top strength for many academics.
While many students have good relationships with their advisors and praise them for being caring, kind people, I often hear a different story from my clients.
One said that he thinks that people who make it through the doctoral program, get a job in academia, and then become advisors for doctoral students are a different breed from most other people. He thinks it’s really hard for successful academics to understand the struggle that so many people have.
Another client said of his advisor, “He breezed through this process in record time. He really truly struggles with anyone who doesn’t bang it out in record time.”
Such comments suggest that it is a challenge for many ABD’s to negotiate good relationships with their advisors.
Strategies are needed.
If you have any strategies that you would be interested in sharing, please write to me. Feel free to contact me through my website www.nwcoaching.com, and of course, I will keep your identity confidential.
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Until next time,