Are meetings with your supervisor difficult? Can’t you get the feedback you need? I wrote about that before, but recently I found some great questions in the book ‘How to get a PhD. A handbook for students and their supervisors’ by Philips and Pugh that can really improve your meetings and the way you cooperate.
To start with: invite your supervisor to discuss the progress of your PhD. Make sure you don’t discuss content or methodology. Although you might not be used to that, there is nothing weird about talking about your progress, in every job you have those assessment interviews at least annually. In that meeting, you can ask these questions that are stated in a positive way:
- How can I make better use of the possibility to learn from you?
- How can I make more progress during our sessions?
- How can I best handle your feedback?
- How do you feel we can cooperate more effectively?
If you ask the questions in this way, your supervisor won’t be easily irritated or annoyed, and it helps your supervisor as well to find ways to work with you more effectively. Hopefully something beautiful can grow this way…
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