Skills of Communication

Date & Time

Wednesday, 25 February 2015
09:00 to 16:30


Graduate Student Centre, 6371 Crescent Rd, UBC, Point Grey campus

Offered by

Graduate Pathways to Success and Mitacs Step

Registration Closed / Past Event


Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all BC post-secondary institutions will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants will receive confirmation within two working days of the receipt of their e-mail. If you have difficulty with registration, send an email to

* This session is being offered in collaboration with the MITACS Step program. Mitacs Step offers a holistic, inter-disciplinary approach to professional skills development. The workshops that are offered provide practical tools in business, communications, and project management through experiential learning from industry professionals in an interactive environment, arming graduate students for success within or beyond academia.

Workshop Objectives
Gain the insights and tools necessary to analyze your communication style. Develop the skills to become a more effective communicator and drive change in the workplace.

Learning Outcomes

You will learn to:

  • Identify personal assumptions and mental models, and see how they influence communication
  • Navigate difficult conversations
  • Communicate for team success

Key Topics

The Power of Communication

  • Communication: not as simple as it seems
  • When bad communication happens to good communicators
  • Identifying challenging conversations
  • The effect of mental models and personal assumptions
    • Mental models and The Ladder of Inference
    • 3 Steps: reflect, advocate, inquire
    • Johari Window Model
    • Cultural influences
    • Gender influences
    • Power of unspoken words

Engaging Others

  • Non-verbal communication
  • Closed-ended, open-ended and probing questions
  • Listening challenges
  • R.E.A.L. Communication Model: Research, Engage, Ask Questions, Listen
    • Handling difficult conversations
    • Matching different communication styles to different audiences


Judy Thomson: Judy Thomson is a chartered accountant, business consultant and speaker who has held executive positions in human resources and administration with global companies in Canada and Asia. She was also part of the start-up management team of the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer Railtours. In addition to her role as chief operating officer of Shepa Learning Company, Judy is vice-chair of The Vancouver Board of Trade’s Women’s Leadership Circle® advisory board, a director of the BC Women’s Enterprise Centre, and is a past director of a publicly traded mining exploration company.

Gayle Hallgren-Rezac: Gayle Hallgren-Rezac is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur (founder, Cookies by George) and a YWCA Woman of Distinction. She has spent over two decades observing and writing on networking around the world. She is a member of the Davos Circle, having attended the Annual World Economic Forum over eleven times. She is also an expert on the “art of conversation”, a subject she writes and speaks on frequently. Gayle is chief engagement officer of Shepa Learning Company, their training and development company.

Refreshments: Light lunch and beverages will be provided.  Please bring your own mug.

Information about upcoming Graduate Pathways to Success events can be found at:



If you have a disability or medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event, please email, 604-827-4578, well in advance of the event.