Monday, 23 October 2017

Natalie Lamb and Managing your PhD: What Drives Your Behaviour?

Do you know what motivates you? The concept of transactional analysis (developed by Dr Eric Berne in the 1950's) states that everyone has drivers, characteristic ways of behaving, which can be a source of strength but also weakness. It is a lot more complicated than people fitting neatly into one of the five identified drivers below, but you may identify with several of them.

Be Perfect 

  • Strengths
    • Accurate detailed reports
    • Neat in your appearance 
    • Value cleanliness and tidiness
  • Weaknesses
    • Feel like everything you do has to be absolutely right
    • May not be satisfied with your work 
    • Delegation may be difficult 
    • Takes too long so never finish
  • How to help
    • Set realistic standards of performance and accuracy
    • Ask yourself what the consequences really are, particularly when you find a mistake
    • Tell others that their mistakes are not serious 

Hurry Up 

  • Strengths
    • Highly productive
  • Weaknesses
    • Take on too much work 
    • Often late for meetings
    • Leave things until the last moment
    • Rush and overlook significant areas
  • How to help
    • Plan your work in stages
    • Set interim target dates
    • Listen carefully to others until they have finished speaking 
    • Learn relaxation techniques 

Try Hard 

  • Strengths
    • Love new projects
    • Work well under pressure
  • Weaknesses
    • Committed to trying rather than succeeding
    • Can turn small jobs into larger jobs
  • How to help
    • Don’t volunteer for extra work
    • Make a plan that includes finishing a task
    • Only do what is expected

Be Strong 

  • Strengths
    • Great in a crisis 
  • Weaknesses
    • Difficult to delegate 
    • Don’t ask for help
    • Appear to be unemotional
    • Unable to admit weakness
  • How to help
    • Keep a task and time log to monitor your workload 
    • Ask others for help
    • Take up an activity in your spare time that you enjoy

Please Others 

  • Strengths
    • Great team member
  • Weaknesses
    • Feel guilty about saying no
    • Accept extra work instead of your own priorities
    • Can be seen as insincere
    • Worried to get something wrong and upset people
  • How to help
    • Ask people questions to check out what they want instead of guessing 
    • Please yourself more often
    • Ask other people for what you want 
    • Tell people firmly when they are wrong 

Lawton, E. (2017), Managing yourself and your PhD: To achieve a better work / life balance, Think Ahead, The University of Sheffield.
Williams, KR (2007),  Transactional Analysis - What Is Your Driver?, Available at (Accessed: 17/10/17).

No comments:

Post a Comment