"..the book on motivating people gets into the various ways of getting your "employees" (a.k.a. students) to be productive, and talks all about the pros and cons of the carrot versus the stick. Synopsis: If you can get inside the head of an unmotivated student and figure out what they want, you can motivate them to do anything."
|Image by Dunechaser|
Perhaps my most important epiphany, though, has been the realization that different people need to be managed differently. I think a good manager is able to adapt to the needs of their employee/student. And, also, realizing the way you would like to be managed yourself is not necessarily the way everyone else would like to be managed.
For example, my preferred management style (as both a manager/advisor and employee/student) is hands-off-but-available. I absolutely abhor being micro-managed, and equally abhor micro-managing others. However, there have been several occasions where I had to micro-manage someone. There was just no other way - they were incapable of self-directing. (While I think industry tolerates such people, I suspect they would utterly flop in academia).
I love how Matt writes about his advisor using Jedi mind tricks to subtly nudge his students to do things. My advisor does this too, and it's just incredible. I'm very direct - when I'm reviewing someone's work, I simply say, "I think you should do X, Y, and Z." Whereas my advisor can beautifully phrase things in such a way that you never realize until long afterward that you've been nudged.