This week, Marvette continues the advisor series with an episode reminding you that your advisor is human and wants you to succeed. Dr. Lacy talks about how you need to show up and ask for help from your advisor in order to receive the help you need.
Hey, you can finish your dissertation and start a profitable consulting business. I’m Dr. Marvette Lacy, and I’m here to show you exactly how to do that. Welcome to the Office Hours with Dr. Lacy podcast, where we talk about all things healing from your higher ed trauma so you can become doctor and live Happy Free, and Paid. Now let’s get to this week’s episode. Stop playing and finally finish that literature review because here’s the thing you have more important things to do than to keep wasting time and energy on figuring out how to perfectly say other people’s words. Yup. Now is the time to get this literature review done and out of the way, sign up for the 30 day literature review workshop. In Just two hours I will walk you step-by-step through clarifying your topic, reviewing articles, writing sections all so you can finish your literature review in 30 days or less. Go to www.qualscholars.com/30 days to sign up today. Now let’s get to work.
Hey, Hey. Hey, welcome back to a new week. So I am going to do this episode without any notes. You’re also going to hear a little Sir background because he’s been real clingy more than usual, and I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s either he be in here with me while I’m recording or he’s scratching at the door. So we are just going to go with this.
Download the Chair Communicate Guide:
So to continue on with our advisor series, first of all, let me just say, if you haven’t downloaded the chair communication guide, what are you doing? You need to go download that. This is a new semester. It is a new year, and you can always decide to do something different. You can always decide to have a different relationship with your chair. Your advisor, whomever is the most supportive person for you right now in the program, you can always decide that you want even like better relationship. If you’re like there’s no way it could get better, it could always get better. Relationships of all forms take consistency. And that guide is going to walk you through how to at the bare minimum, how to make sure that your dissertation continues to stay on track according to the timeline that you have set forth. It will also help you to up level your communication with your chair. It tells you exactly how to write emails to them, how to communicate with them. And it talks a lot about, I am someone who strongly believes that your chair isn’t interested in you being perfect. They don’t want you to be perfect. They just want to know what’s going on. And when you ghost for weeks and months, they don’t know what’s going on.
And if leave humans to figure it out, what’s going on their on their own. their always going to skew towards the negative. It’s not a personal indictment on you. It’s just how our brains are wired. When we don’t have information, our brains will feel it in that information. And nine times out of 10, the information that the brain fills in with it’s going to be something negative. Meaning they’re going to most likely think the worst, right? Like you are not writing. You are not working. You don’t care. Even if for most people that I know that is not the truth, but again, if you don’t communicate regularly with your advisor, what else are you leaving them to think? And so this guide talks to you about how you can have consistent communication with your advisor in a way that you don’t have constantly show up with something. You don’t constantly have to give them draft after draft, but in a way that you can still communicate that I am working. I am taking ownership of my process. This is what I have done. And this is what I’m still working on. And this is my plan for getting it done. And so I highly, highly, highly encourage you to go and download that guide because it’s going to help you. You can find it www.qualscholars.com/advisor. You can go to the site, you’ll click on it and you can download it, just put in your email and you’ll get the guide right away. So that is my PSA.
Your Advisor is HUMAN!:
As we go into this conversation, the main point I want to say today is that your advisor is a whole human. Your advisors are human, and your advisor is on your side. Let me say that last part again, your advisor is on your team. They’re on your side. They want you to win. They have skin in the game. I know it’s can be really easy to get into a place of like, oh, they’re just telling me what to do or easy for them to tell me, like, I just need to write because they already have their PhD or their like, they’ve already completed their dissertation, like even people, clients sometimes have that, that mindset when I’m coaching them, it’s like, oh, it’s so easy for you to say that. Cause you forgot what it was like. You don’t remember what it was like to be a student. And what I want to say to you, from my perspective, from your advisor’s perspective, it is because we remember what it is like that we’re telling you to do these things. Now I am not saying that they’re not advisors out there who don’t care, who don’t want to be on your team. But what I found from my experience is that those people are few far in between. Most advisors want you to win. Not only do they want you to win for you, they want you to win for them too. They have skin in the game.
You are on their CV. You are on their record. When they go up for promotion and tenure, they have to talk about, and they have to include the work that you’ve done and the progress you have or you haven’t made. But they, they, they have skin in the game because your success is tied to their success. So they want you to make progress. Like that’s kind of the reason why I needed to graduate when I did, because my advisor needed to demonstrate that her advisees were making progress. And I’m not here in this episode to criticize the system and the programs. That’s a whole nother conversation. What I’m saying is I want you to get the things that you came for. I want you to finish your dissertation. I want you to be doctor. And one of the biggest things that you have to make sure it’s like nail down is solid, is that you have an amazing relationship with your advisor. Now, when I say amazing, I don’t mean that y’all Kiki all the time and y’all hang down and y’all do all the things. What I do mean is that they know exactly what’s going on with you, as it relates to your dissertation, they know where you are. They know where your plan is. They know what you need assistance with. They know how the best, like the best way to support you. And if you need further help or clarity on how to do that, go back and listen to the last episode, because I really broke it down there and the guide will definitely help you. But for today’s conversation, I just want to implore to you that your advisor is on your team.
Your Advisor is Going Through It:
Now it may not look like it, or it may not appear that way because maybe, you know, they got a quick clap back for every email you send. Maybe they seem really harsh in their feedback or their delivery of their support. Maybe it’s hard to get in touch with them, or they don’t respond back to emails as quickly as you would like, or they don’t give you the feedback as quickly as you would like. What I want to say to go back to my original first point is that your advisor’s a human. They are human, who has also gone through and is going through still a pandemic. They are someone who still have emotions and feelings. Right, their someone who has problems as well. When they have family things, just like you, they probably have health things just like you. They probably have fears and anxiety and depression, just like you. They probably also have this pressure that they need to show up a certain way for you and for the rest of their students and for their position, they probably may feel like they can’t be as honest or transparent or as vulnerable to say, like, this is all the shit I have going on because of their role and the expectations that are placed within the academy.
Right? But they also have meant thugging it out just like you. And a lot of faculty have ridiculous teaching loads, ridiculous advisee loads. Right? I think about if I remember correctly correctly, at one point, my chair had like 14, 16 advisees, can you imagine 14, 16 people. You’re trying to make sure they have what they need. They have the support, they’re making progress. And that’s not the only thing that they have to do. They also have to teach. They also have to build curriculum and read books. They also have their own research projects. They also have to be thinking about preparing for their next step for promotion and tenure and getting grants and funding and getting published in certain journals, right? They also have to go present at conferences. They also are probably getting pushed and pull all across campus in the name of service, which is probably technically 5% of their job that they don’t really get any support for.
They have a lot going on. And this episode isn’t to make like excuses for them and say like, oh, they get to treat you any type of way. This episode is to communicate to you that they’re humans with a lot of shit going on. And the best way for you to make the progress that you want in your dissertation is to keep that at the forefront of your mind and think to yourself, how can I make it easy for them to support me? How can I give them as much information as possible? So they know exactly how to support me and I can get what I need, because let me tell you, if you are a student who shows up and who communicates regularly, your advisor, your chair, your committee would be more willing to help you. I know it might seem or feel a little bit counterintuitive or backwards. Like, why would you help me if I look like I got it all together?
Because number one, you don’t have it all together, but that’s a whole different conversation. But number two, you’re making it easier for them to support you when I know what your timeline is when you are communicating to me regularly of like I’m working on chapter two, this is, I got, you know, my first two sections done. I’m having trouble finding articles for my third section. And I’m getting caught up. Now as the advisor, I know exactly how to help you. I know exactly what we need to talk about in our meetings, but when you just show up and like, I don’t know, I can’t write it. It’s off. It’s too overwhelming. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to start with you. And only thing that I could probably tell you is to keep reading and keep writing you’ll figure it out because I don’t know how to help you. And a lot of you are expecting your advisors to be like superhuman or mind readers. No, if you don’t even know what you’re saying, how they supposed to know, just because they went through the process before doesn’t mean they know your research doesn’t mean they know your literature doesn’t mean they know exactly how you want to frame it. And even if they, even if you are doing a project that’s in the wheelhouse of your advisor, y’all still are two different people who have two different perspectives on this particular topic.
And so, yes, your advisor can guide you through program requirements and they can look at writing for you. But even that as a side note, when you tell your advisor, okay, can you look at this and give me feedback, be clear on the type of feedback you want them to give you. Do you want them to look at your APA? Do you want them to look at your structure? Do you want, do you just simply want them to tell you if you’re going to pass or not? If this is what they’re looking for, like be clear, y’all be clear, but stop going into these meetings, acting like you have never completed a degree program before. Stop acting like you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s that telling yourself you don’t know what you’re doing. Yes. The dissertation is an educational exercise to help you learn how to design and conduct and to evaluate research. And yeah, there’s some pieces that you’re going to have to learn, but you’re not starting from zero. You’re not starting. Like, I don’t know I had never wrote anything ever in my life. What if you just decided, I am just going to put words on a page and see what happens.
I’m going to go in and humble myself and be vulnerable and ask what I think is a stupid question. I’m just going to show up because at least if I’m showing up, I’m making progress. No, I’m not going to show up and just whine and complain. No, I’m not just going to show up cause I’m committed to my limitations and I’m committed to being overwhelmed and pretend confused. No. What if you showed up with a clear question or two, what if you showed up with? Hey, I thought I was going to write this chapter, but I got this paragraph for you. Can you help me? Can we talk through this? What if you showed up with something, let them help you because they got 50 11 other people that they also are trying to manage and they do want to help you. They do want to be on your side, but make it easy for them, make it easy for them to do so because they do want to help you.
This Year Gets to be Different!:
So I’m going to keep it short and I’m gonna keep it brief. Go get the guide stop ghosting, stop hiding, and show up with something. And the guide will give you something to show up with this year gets to be different. This year gets to be the best year of your academic career. If you want it to be, but you are not a victim. Nothing is happening to you. You decided to enroll in this program. You decided you wanted to be doctor show up and act like it. Show up and act like you want it. Cause I’m not going to say you don’t want it. I’m asking you to show up Like you want it. Show up like you want to play the game, show up with something and I’ll remember your advisors are human and they’re on your side. No matter if it looks like it or not, they are, they also need some help from you to show up with something so that they can help you in the best way possible. Okay. That’s all. Y’all. I hope you have a great week. I will talk to you next week. Bye.
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