My Managing @ UBC Experience

Anita Chiu - Research Manager, UBC


I have been in my current role as Research Manager in the Dept. of Family Practice at UBC for more than a year.  Looking for opportunities to build my managerial skills, I recently applied and was accepted into the 8 month Managing @ UBC Program, targeted at UBC staff who are within the first three years of their managerial role and with at least one direct report. 

We recently had our first group virtual workshop introducing us to the group facilitators and our program peers. With over 70 new managers registered in the program, features such as breakout sessions, polls and chats were deployed to better engage the group. The facilitators spoke about the purposes of the program which are to strengthen our leadership skills for us to thrive at UBC and to cultivate a positive workplace for its employees to do the best they can in a vibrant and supportive environment.  Before we began the topic of the day, some important ground rules were stated to facilitate an effective learning experience for all.  These rules included maintaining confidentiality, be present, be curious, speaking for self not for others, listening and seeking clarification rather than assuming others’ intent.  All these rules are crucial for creating psychological safety for people to open up and share their thoughts. 

We did a pre-workshop assignment to assess our values and discussed the role our values play in our life.  Our values were mapped against the different levels of the Richard Barrett Model of Consciousness, and we reflected on how our values are manifested in our beliefs and behaviours.  Values drive our decisions, determining how we manage our time, how we treat others, how we prioritize tasks.  There are no right or wrong to adopting certain values, but understanding our own and others’ values is important to build a work culture that embraces inclusion, diversity and equity.