• Dr. Lori Wieters

The Wi2 Co-Lab’s Dissertation Coaching Collaborative and the Dissertation E-Collaborative FaceBook

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Hello everyone, welcome!

We are excited you are here. One of our goals is to provide doctoral learners with moral support, advice, and feedback as they travel through their doctoral journey. We have created two forums to support our learners. They are the Wi2 Dissertation Coaching Collaborative and the Dissertation e-Collaborative. We encourage you to explore both forums.

Sample of Expertise We Will be Sharing…

I have been advising on Dissertations for the last 9 years and graduated many learners. Prior to that, I was a thesis advisor for many years. I am also a residency instructor and an on ground and online instructor. With that, I am excited to share some of my expertise with you.

I feel compelled to start with a discussion about the two most common mistakes dissertation students make when starting their doctoral work. The two mistakes are ‘solving world peace’ through their dissertation and the ‘and, then’ syndrome. Let me explain.

World Peace Mistake: When working with students, I find they have a vision for their dissertation. They have a passion (I lovingly call a bias) for a certain topic. Many learners have lived through something and/or want to prove something. I had one student who wanted to study narcissistic bosses because she was working for one. There is really no way to write an unbiased, literature-forward study when you are emotionally engaged with the topic. However, if you are a consultant who specializes in executive coaching with narcissistic bosses and need to deepen your knowledge about the characteristics and drivers, it might be okay. As you think about your doctoral work, remember that it will define you in some way in the future. Do you want to be known for your topic? If I call tomorrow and ask you to use your topic to help me solve an issue, would you welcome that call? When you think about your doctoral work, do not look to solve world peace – your doctoral work is simply a demonstration that you can do scholarly work and provides a foundation for your future work. Narrow, narrow, narrow – study a ‘postage stamp’ of your future work. That leads to the next mistake.

‘And, Then’ Syndrome: The ‘and, then’ syndrome happens when you keep adding more and more variables to your study. As you read, this happens naturally. There are many metaphors for this – From the movie, UP, the term ‘squirrel’ comes to mind. I will talk with students and get them settled into their work and then the next time I talk with them, they have added three things. I call it the ‘and, then’ syndrome. Have you ever seen the movie – Dude, Where’s My Car? Ashton Kutcher’s character fights with the speaker at a Chinese restaurant. It culminates is ‘And, then’ and ‘No more and, then’. This has become my mantra. Your goals should be to identify and narrow your study, align the components of your study, research only what is in your study, and then write about your study. Think about a science experiment - specific, targeted, results oriented. Stay true to your study and ‘no more and, then’.

As you move deeper into your doctoral experience, you may find that you need more support, advice, and a bit of motivation. Our team of professionals, coaches, and editors can help you.

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Enjoy your doctoral journey, Dr. Lori Wieters, Chief Collaboration Officer, Wi2 Co-Lab

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