5 Tips to Maintain Your Supervisory Relationship

5 Tips to Maintain Your Supervisory Relationship

January 20, 2020 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Hi my name is Hifza, and I’m Mariam, and we are graduate conflict resolution peer advisors here at the School of Graduates, which is
a tri-campus resource. We are part of the School Graduate Studies, the Department of Student Life, and the University of Toronto Graduate Student Union. What we provide is we help graduate students navigate conflict throughout their graduate careers and we can do this through drop-in appointments as well as Skype appointments as well as
you can book an appointment on CLN. Right and today we are going to be talking to
you based on our experiences about some tips that you can use to maintain your
supervisory relationship. As you know in graduate school having a supervisor is
it sometimes liken to a long term relationship so as with any relationship
it’s important to you know put in the work and you know maintain the
relationship appropriately so we’ll be sharing a few tips from our experiences
and before we go on we like to say first that the supervisory relationship is a
shared responsibility so here we’re sharing some of the ways that we have
taken on you know our portion of the responsibility of maintaining that
relationship hopefully you can learn yeah for sure and I’m gonna jump into our first point which is to set expectations as early as possible
with your supervisor when you’re starting your graduate journey something
that’ll really help you is to tell your supervisor what you expect from the
relationship or from your graduate studies as well as what your graduate
supervisor might expect from you as well that’s something that will really help
you prevent or minimize any unexpected expectations from being met yeah
and the next resource or tip that we can give you is to refer to
the School of Graduate Studies supervision guidelines now the SGSs the
School of Graduate Studies has come up with this very robust supervision guidelines both for students and faculty and it’s really useful if you took a look at
both of the documents and what it does is it helps you understand what your
responsibilities are as a student and what you can expect from your supervisor
so it’s pretty comprehensive it’s very enlightening and there is even case studies
at the end of you know the document so you can apply what you need to real-life
scenarios so you can visit the SGS website or just google “SGS supervision
of guidelines U of T” and basically check out the
guidelines. Yeah and along that line as you are navigating your study for example, I work in a lab environment something that’s really
useful is to ensure that and you tell your supervisor if you’re facing any
challenges or roadblocks and that really helps them know that you are working on
your project that you are communicating effectively with them when something is
going wrong and that also help them to tell you any advice that they can provide you
depending on your experimental situation or any course situation. Yes so basically
don’t “ghost” your supervisor! In line with that as well one of the things that really helps in graduate school that helped me is
staying organized. Sometimes as students we forget that supervisors have so many
responsibilities: they are teaching, they are supervising students, they travel
for conferences and saving the world and doing all these fantastic things so
by being organized as a student, you make it easier for your supervisors to
supervise you so if you have a meeting with your supervisor, send an agenda, send a calendar invite, make notes of the things that need to be done, make a note of the deadline– anything that makes the supervisory relationship easier you
should definitely do. Yeah and along that line, be prepared. For example whenever you walk into a meeting with your supervisor, say what the objectives are, what you want to get out of that meeting,
what are the solutions you would like and ensure that even or
what you’re going to say to your supervisor is extremely important
because you don’t want to say anything that will get you into hot water later on Oh yeah and then you can also, this is a
tip that I find it very useful because when you’re having the meeting with your supervisor, sometimes you talk about so many different things and there might be
you know a mismatch in terms of the information that is important right or
the action that you ought to take next so something that is useful to do is to
send an email to your supervisor after every meeting saying you know based on
our meeting this is you know the next this is what I’m working on for the next
three weeks so whatever or these are the next steps or I’m expecting you to send
me you know whatever article or whatever resource that you promised and so on and
so forth that way it’s also kind of tied to being organized right and being
proactive that way you set the tone you remind everybody of their
responsibilities and you also have that email to remind yourself of exactly what exactly you should be doing. Trust me you will forget things 4 months down the line yeah so yeah we hope these tips has been
helpful in by maintaining a supervisory relationship it’s an important part of
conflict prevention because when you’re on the same page when expectations are
aligned conflicts are less likely to arise and in the event that you have
conflict you can come to us the graduate conflict resolution center.
How can they book an appointment with us you can go on to the Career Learning
Network website and book an appointment there or you can check out drop ins that
are also available all across the campus Yeah all right, happy grad school!