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Author Topic: Advice for resolving conflict between advisor and student  (Read 24327 times)
scotia
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 6:19:27 AM »


In retrospect, you were all right; I should have put the student on academic probation back in September. Although I supported and continue to strongly support the original faculty adviser, I don't think I came down hard enough on the student at the outset. I learned a lesson, and will handle students like these differently in the future.

I can sympathize itried. We often walk a very fine line and there is no simple algorithm for dealing with many 'people problems'. One of my mentors told me that in many situations, no matter what you do it will be wrong on some dimension. All you can do is to try to reduce the "wrongness vector", and be prepared to adjust your decision (as you have done: the student was given a chance, he messed up again, you dealt with him more firmly). In a similar situation, with a different type of student, the gentler approach might have worked. With this student, in this situation, it didn't. You live and you learn.
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itried
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Posts: 459


« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 8:44:45 AM »

Thank you for your reflections, betterslac and scotia. Yes, I'm learning quickly, to be sure. I'm very aware of how far I've come in just seven months in this new position; I'm much more direct, honest, and confident in setting boundaries, expressing my opinions, and making decisions. I never understood how some of my older and more experienced colleagues could firmly say to a student (or other colleagues), "That is not acceptable," or "This is a weak area you really need to work on." I worried so much about hurting people or not being liked. I've been practicing a lot, and find myself much more comfortable being firm, clear, and unapologetic. I can express warmth in other areas and other interactions, but sometimes people need to hear the truth. I've noticed also that people really respond positively to this firmness, i.e., in most cases, I haven't experienced any hostility or retaliation... for the most part, it garners respect. It's partly a matter of professional maturity, but for me it's also taken some personal work in self-trust and honest expression.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 8:46:57 AM by itried » Logged
brixton
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2012, 11:15:42 PM »

Thank you for your reflections, betterslac and scotia. Yes, I'm learning quickly, to be sure. I'm very aware of how far I've come in just seven months in this new position; I'm much more direct, honest, and confident in setting boundaries, expressing my opinions, and making decisions. I never understood how some of my older and more experienced colleagues could firmly say to a student (or other colleagues), "That is not acceptable," or "This is a weak area you really need to work on." I worried so much about hurting people or not being liked. I've been practicing a lot, and find myself much more comfortable being firm, clear, and unapologetic. I can express warmth in other areas and other interactions, but sometimes people need to hear the truth. I've noticed also that people really respond positively to this firmness, i.e., in most cases, I haven't experienced any hostility or retaliation... for the most part, it garners respect. It's partly a matter of professional maturity, but for me it's also taken some personal work in self-trust and honest expression.

Ahh, yes.  The wonderful world of accountability.  Although it seems to be the flip side of compassion, they really are on the same coin:  holding students, staff, faculty accountable is actually showing them compassion
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itried
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Posts: 459


« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2012, 9:17:27 AM »

I think that's really true, brixton. In my case, I can understand and appreciate this intellectually, but I have struggled with trusting my own judgment to be the one to say those things. It feels good to finally trust my judgment -- this has come with experience, maturity, and personal work.
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