I am currently a first-year graduate student, now in the process of figuring out who I'd like to have as my thesis advisor. Of course, compatibility of research interests is quite important, but personality and work style are too.
The issue I'm currently facing (though it sounds odd to cast it in a negative light) is that the professor with whom I'm most compatible research-wise, is the most polite, nice, and soft-spoken person I've ever met. In lecture and in conversation, he is self-effacing, will go out of his way to make things comfortable for you, never says a bad thing about anyone, etc.
Now, even though I love my field, I've been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember, and my concern is that I'm eventually going to lose my focus / energy if my advisor is constitutionally unable to say things like "You ought to have read more this week", "You should do a better job of this write-up", etc
My question is, should I opt for Professor Tough Love whose research I like slightly less, but who will do a good job of keeping me working, or should I go with Professor Nice Guy? If I do go with Professor Nice Guy, what strategies could I employ to make sure the effect of his coddling is minimal?
I've discussed this with peers, and I received the following advice:
You're going to have to become self-driven eventually - might as well start getting practice now.
Meet with Professor Tough Love regularly, sort of as an unofficial second advisor, who (besides discussing technical material, which is of course beneficial) will give me the impetus I need.
Directly ask Professor Nice Guy to give me more structure, and to be more demanding of me.
Thoughts about these? Any other suggestions?
I realize there's some overlap with How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?, but I suppose I'm asking specifically about what to do when my advisor is not automatically going to be a resource for helping me avoid procrastination.
Thanks for all of your help in advance!