I’ve just been listening to a child psychologist on national radio talking about optimists and pessimists. It reminded me of a management problem I faced at Cawthron Institute where I took rather a risk in order to communicate successfully.
The problem involved a young Ph.D. student from Japan. He had just discovered that his supervisor back in Japan had done something dishonourable, something which he felt would be to the disadvantage of his New Zealand hosts. He became deeply depressed, stuck in a dilemma which he eventually confided to another Japanese researcher working at Cawthron at the time: Dr Kawamura. Kawamura-san then spoke with the student’s Cawthron supervisor, who felt he was out of his depth and brought the problem to me. They were both extremely concerned with the student’s state of mind, even mentioning the ‘s’ word.