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Category Archives: Implementation & Control

Writing a research proposal is a vital step in your thesis writing year.    Why is the Research Proposal Important? Your research proposal must persuade potential supervisors and/or funders that your work is worthy of their support and approval. Articulate your research ideas and reasons in a compelling way, while demonstrating your understanding of existing literature. It must also clearly define your questions or objectives and your approach to answering them. If just reading those requirements is making you feel out of your depth already. Keep reading. This article will give you the all-important structure you need to make a success of this crucial step. My advice? While it must be well-structured, your research proposal should retain a degree of flexibility to accommodate any changes you need to make as your thesis progresses. Before you even start writing your research proposal it is crucial that you do plenty of background…

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While there are numerous definitions of “accountability” most explanations point to one’s willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions. Other explanations reference the words blame, victim, liability, and answerability. While there is some truth in these heavily emotive words, simply put, being accountable is doing what you say you will do: staying true to your word by following through on your commitments and (here’s the bull’s eye) showing up.     In it’s purest form, accountability is made up of an obligation + an action + a specified other person. Showing up for the specified other person is the crux of true accountability. It’s more than just getting the job done, it’s about having a dedicated individual care about whether you’re achieving your goals. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if…

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You don’t know what you don’t know. Coaching in the athletic arena was first documented in the mid-1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that coaching as a profession, outside of sports, emerged.  For many, the notion of engaging with a coach is still a foreign concept. Why on earth would you pay a stranger to tell you what to do? Which brings us back to: you don’t know what you don’t know. Once you’ve experienced quality coaching in an area of your life that is truly meaningful for example, work, relationships or academia, your life, and I do not say this lightly,  will never be the same again – for the better. If you are feeling stuck, anxious, fearful, not sure what to do next you would benefit from quality coaching. Having someone think through the options with you to illuminate thinking, resources, and actions that were hidden before…

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With the office Christmas party invitations flooding in, and end of year meetups filling up your calendar, not to mention that Woolies Christmas mince pies are already getting shelf space – you’re right in feeling that the silly season is fast approaching. But before you find yourself spinning, take a moment to reflect and prepare to attain a sufficient and sustainable balance in all the areas of your life, so that you can still be productive and have fun amidst the goings-on of the season. One thing is for sure, you are going to have to adjust your schedule. Pretending that your rigid work-study-life programme is still valid through December is probably the biggest mistake you can make. Don’t allow tiredness, burn out and loss of energy to deplete your self-esteem and confidence levels over this demanding time of year.  Because there is no energy in the pit of low…

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Most students are quite overwhelmed at the idea that they are tasked to write a hundred or more pages for the thesis or dissertation component for their course. And many do not know where to start. What should the chapter outlines be? What kind of content should be on those chapters? This article is intended to provide you with a simple, yet practical roadmap to getting your thesis document started.  The bullet points below should serve as a strong guideline and give you a solid start but bear in mind that there is a lot more to it than that. It is imperative that right from the beginning you understand your institution’s technical requirements for the actual thesis document: title page layout, margins, font, line spacing, tables and figures descriptions, format of front page, format of table of contents and any other technical aspects that you need to know. Spend…

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In my coaching practice I’ve learned that over and above the constraints of time, the biggest challenge students face in their thesis writing year is managing a fulfilling relationship with their supervisor (Super).  Many of my clients experience feelings of dread at the thought of those scheduled meetings. And, they often leave these meetings feeling less motivated, more overwhelmed and as if their Super’s input or lack thereof didn’t address relevant issues, let alone add value to their work. Your relationship with your Super is key whilst writing your thesis. Here’s some advice on how to foster and nurture a more meaningful relationship. Take Charge Although your Super is a highly esteemed academic and deserving of your respect, remember that in the end, the successful completion of your thesis is your responsibility alone. This means that you are in charge and should take an active approach when managing this key…

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Many students who are facing the daunting task of writing a thesis or a dissertation immediately get stuck into doing the necessary research. This process can lead to hours and hours going down rabbit holes on the internet, ordering books from Amazon and collecting articles. You need to figure out when “enough is enough”.  At last, the day will come when you finally feel ready to start putting the words down. It is at this stage, when you must put bum-in-chair and write, that a whole new set of challenges may start derailing the writing process.  In my experience, this is when you start losing hours like coins in a casino and begin to feel severe pressure. You want to try and avoid these obstacles at all costs. It is vital that you set yourself up for optimal productivity and success by acquiring and mastering the necessary tools to make…

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Unlike achieving a bachelor’s degree, post grad studies often demand a dissertation or thesis component and the transition from student to researcher is demanding. Not only do you have to learn, you also have to do your research independently to answer your thesis question. Furthermore, you have to organize your findings in an academic paper worthy of publishing. Writing a thesis is a lot like eating an elephant: You have to tackle it in bite size chunks. If your mindset is focused on The Thesis, in its entirety, you will feel overwhelmed and grow anxious by the enormity of the task ahead. That is why project managing yourself and having a structured approach to how, when and where you’ll spend the time writing your paper is vital. READ: Project Manage Yourself to the Finish Line But even the best laid plans can go haywire, because, well, life happens. This is…

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“They made a big mistake admitting me into this program.” “Any day now they are going to realise I’m not really that good at my job.” “I don’t belong here, I’m not as clever as all these people. I’ll be found out as a fraud eventually.” “It was just luck and good timing that I landed this position.” These are just some of the most common thoughts that plague high achievers who suffer from Impostor Syndrome (IS). While IS is not officially classified as a psychological disorder, it is an affliction which targets many ambitious and successful individuals who are climbing up the ladder in their careers. The struggle comes from being unable to internalise success coupled with a fear of being exposed as a fraud. There are three defining features of impostorism. Feeling that other people have an inflated perception of your abilities. A fear that your true abilities will be…

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