The Confident Manager

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The Confident Manager is designed to be a flexible and innovative programme focused on people management excellence, where participants shape their learning journeys around key areas of relevant to their role and context. The programme reflects some of the latest thinking and is aligned to the latest trends in the world of work to support all managers to be effective, inclusive and confident in managing individuals and teams. 

You can tailor to your needs so you focus on what matters to you and your team and continuously strengthen your people management knowledge, skills and practice by: 

  • Developing core people management capabilities, focusing on developing yourself as a manager at the University of Oxford, and in the changing world of work 
  • Maximising your impact as a People Manager, enhancing the effectiveness of your team, and supporting your team members’ personal development. 
  • Practising what matters in a safe environment and through learning from peers across the University. 

There are 2 streams within the programme each with its own set of Masterclasses, Social Learning Spaces and supplementary materials. Each Masterclass includes a mix of presentation, discussion amongst your peers, hands-on exercises, with time for critical reflection. There will also be pre and post-workshop exercises to complete. Keeping in mind the majority of learning happens within your own working environment, we will encourage you to reflect on how you can transfer your new knowledge there, embed new working practices and how to involve your manager in helping you do this.  

Confident Manager Streams

The Confident Manager programme can be seen as a journey.  Each manager will set their own path and pace through each stream. Their diagnosis of their own needs will help them establish their departure point and, although there are core masterclasses and social learning spaces to attend, they may take as many diversions as they need to seek additional support – for example, by joining The Coaching Laboratory or taking an e-learning programme. There will be times when they cross paths with others and we encourage them to make the most of these opportunities to share experiences, seek advice and together reflect on their journeys and their next steps. When they have embedded their learning from that journey, they may decide to join another stream - what matters most is they have the opportunity to keep exploring and we will help them do so.   

Throughout the programme, we will suggest articles, podcasts, videos and ways to extend your learning in areas you are particularly interested in; providing you with access to some of the latest thinking in the world of people management.

The programme aims to support managers at all levels, whatever their role and wherever they sit in the University. The contents are tailored to those who are managing a team for the first time whether in their career or for the first time at Oxford; managers who want to further their knowledge and skills and those managers who are confident but want to continue their learning by accessing ongoing support, the latest thinking in the field of people management and facing new challenges. 

All managers should lead by example – demonstrating a growth mindset and always searching for ways to support the personal development of those in their team. Regardless of experience, managers will be:- 

  • reminded of their responsibilities as a manager,  
  • reassured of the good practices they already have in place, and  
  • introduced to new ways of doing things which are more appropriate in a working world which has changed and continues to do so.  

Gaining confidence around core management capabilities should be seen as a strong foundation for leadership roles in academia and other sectors. 

Each stream has either two or three 4 hour Masterclass sessions and one Social Learning Space session of 2 hours, all of which participants must attend. There are also additional tasks and resources as pre work and post work.

The programme has been designed so that individuals are able to go through the programme at their own pace, and sessions run throughout the academic year on a rolling basis. For example it is possible to get through all the sessions in a single term, or if you need additional time due to work commitments or you prefer a slower pace, you are able to book onto sessions over a longer period of time (e.g. one workshop this term, and the SLS and second workshop next term).

Please also note that sessions are booked on a first-come-first-served basis, and we recommend you book all of the sessions in your stream from the outset.

If you would like to apply to join the programme, please click here

Our intention is for the programme to be accessible to all those who wish to attend. It includes options to attend in person sessions at Littlegate House, and online Masterclasses. The programme provides access to POD’s online resources and signposts managers to external resources. 

COVID aware: POD will follow the University’s guidance on COVID. The seminar room at Littlegate House has a wall of windows which allows ventilation and we have also invested in HEPA air filters to offer greater protection against the spread of COVID and other airborne viruses. The programme has been designed to take into consideration equity of provision whether you attend in person or online. 

The Confident Manager application form


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pod@admin.ox.ac.uk