Realistic planning

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El Negativo strikes again…El Negativo? better catch up with the storyline! click: Super Students… Coming soon. for the movie trailer.

 Optimism or pessimism (realism)?

The constant battle goes on. From a supervisor point of view how do you train students how to balance their viewpoint on experimental success? I want them to be optimistic. I want to foster a can-do attitude. The danger is that when challenges occur, and they will, and things happen slower than hoped for, that the optimists feel worse than the realists. Most of the journey in a PhD is about learning to deal with failure! The problem I feel is that focusing too early on realism feels like pessimism to the student. Pessimism turns into inertia; “the boss thinks this will take a month so I don’t need to push hard at it.”

So what’s the answer? Still not sure. I know how my head works but everybody who joins the lab is different so working out what will work takes time. It really is person and context specific.

Tips and advice appreciated…