I’ve heard from a few of you over this past week-and several of you have been noting that dealing with your advisor is chaotic and stressful. From complaints of "s/he doesn’t return my emails" and "s/he doesn’t seem to read what I send" to "s/he won’t let me sent a defense date"– all these issues would make dealing with your advisors chaotic and stressful. However, since there is, likely, very little that you can do to change your advisor, my question for you is, "What’s your contribution to the chaos?". Not that the chaos is your fault, mind you, but how are you contributing to it? Asked another way, how are you helping to keep the chaos in place? What is maintaining it? (And though it might be tempting to answer, "the only thing maintaining it is my advisor")– that’s not true. Any relationship involves at least two people. Both have a responsibility and a contribution to the functionings of that relationship. Not to say you’re purposely contributing to the chaos. But could you be doing it accidentally? Are you missing deadlines? Are you canceling and rescheduling meetings multiple times? Are you demanding fast responses when you don’t give them yourself? Do you keep changing your mind, ideas, topic, or approach? Are you avoiding clear and direct communication? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be contributing to the chaos within your advisory relationship. What can you do to behave more congruently and consistently? How would this aid your dissertation progress?