Monday, August 18, 2014

Challenge: Being the Bad Guy(Gal)

You have a research buddy, accountability partner, friend, mentee, colleague, ect, and you see they are just not getting their writing done. Weeks pass, months pass, and still, nothing is happening.  They don't publish; they have lots of reasons why, but they are not getting it done. You struggle with how to help, lend small words of encouragement and support, offer to collaborate; take them to lunch. Sigh.

Perhaps they describe to you practices that are not working, or you hear rationalizations that are getting in their way. Perhaps their baggage is clearly impeding their progress. Yet, you say nothing. You have learned to be nice, to be kind, to mind your own business. You don't want to cause tension, be blamed, resented, or simply be the recipient of anger.

Yet, are you being a good friend (or whatever you role is)?  If your unproductive scholar does not make it past a third year review, or tenure, or can't get a job, due to their lack of writing, did you really do right by them?

It is hard being the bad guy(gal) ; every parent knows this, and frankly, anyone who has ever been a "true friend" knows this. Sometimes though, you have to do what is right, not what is easy.

I ask you to think about this today, and view it as your challenge. I am not telling you what to do, but asking you to consider the types of support you provide to others, when it is useful, and when it is not. I am asking you to think about taking a risk in order to help someone you care about.

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