One of the most important factors during your time as a PhD student is the relationship with your PhD supervisor. Indeed, being able to communicate effectively with your supervisor can greatly improve the experience of doing a doctorate degree. One key thing to keep in mind when choosing a supervisor is to match both of your personalities as best as you can. While this may sound easy, it will take some time and research to find the ideal person.
The following tips can help you to remain on the same page as your PhD supervisor:
Identify Their Communication Method
When you enter a doctoral degree programme, you should expect to have to work with a number of different personalities, all of whom have a variety of communication methods. While you should plan to encounter and effectively communicate with these personalities on a day-to-day basis, it is helpful to identify the type of personality that you work best with when choosing your PhD supervisor.
Supervisors come in all different shapes and sizes with regard to personality and communication: some are more assertive and will push you to achieve your goals, others are more passive and allow you to lead the way while offering their guidance. You may even find some who are micro-managers. The key is that you feel comfortable voicing your opinions with confidence and can negotiate with your supervisor to achieve your goals.
Handle Disagreements with Professionalism
There will be occasions on which you and your PhD supervisor will not see eye to eye. The key is to address this with confidence but also with some sensitivity. If you have a pressing disagreement, you should schedule a meeting to discuss this with your supervisor. Always begin the meeting on a positive note. You could share some enlightening information you have discovered whilst doing your research or simply thank them for their time.
When you are discussing a disagreement with regards your PhD, be sure to state the facts. Perhaps your supervisor asked you to complete a project and you do not feel it will be beneficial to you. Express your concerns in a straightforward and succinct manner. Allow your supervisor to share his or her viewpoint, and be sure to listen to their reasoning – that alone may provide you with more insight into what they want you to do and why. Even if you are still in disagreement at the end of your meeting, you will have clarified the situation by effectively communicating with your supervisor in a professional manner.
Being on the same page as your PhD supervisor will make studying for your doctorate degree a much more pleasant and satisfying journey. By understanding that you both have the same goal – getting you through your PhD programme with as much success as possible – and by learning to effectively communicate, you will find the best ways of working with your supervisor according to both of your personalities and work ethics.