Mentoring, suicide and Harvard

Wed Dec 16 09:38:57 EST 1998

>Even when things are NOT going well, it is nice to hear "keep your chin
>up! I know you can do it!". I think if you let folks know that your basic
>assumption is that they are competent, it just works better all around. 
>And it is infectious. With the tone sent in that manner, I find that
>interpersonal communications are much more respectful and if someone says:
>"I really thought your seminar was great" once in awhile, it makes "You
>know, perhaps that technique would work better if you..." sorts of
>comments easy to take.
>So on behalf of all of us, THANKS!

Speaking from personal experience-I agree 1000% with Linnea.  I can hear almost any critisicm 
and find it helpful, as long as it assumes I'm competent.  I'm coming to the end of the first 
6 months of my postdoc, and emotionally the experience is as different from grad school as 
night from day.  A lot of things go into that, but a major factor is my PI's assumption that 
I know what I'm doing.  And it's not just because I'm a postdoc-postdocs in my graduate lab 
fared no better than grad students when it came to the "if its not working its because you 
don't know how to do it" mentality.
Julia Frugoli
Texas A&M University
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
Crop Biotechnology Center
MS# 2123
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-862-4790

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