For U-Jin Lee, Head of HR (Vice President) Asia, Sibelco, lunch time is about building positive relationships. He tells Priya Sunil more about a typical day which involves getting into office at 7.30am, a coaching session for a high potential manager, and more. 

Q What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?

Being grateful that I have the opportunity to meet the people I love, enjoy the work I do, and contribute to the lives of the people around me (colleagues, friends, family).

Q What’s on today’s task list at the office?

I reach the office at 7:30am and spend the first 30 minutes settling down, having a hot drink while reading up on the news before going through the schedule that was already planned for the day and deciding what needs to be prioritised.

Today, my morning is occupied with separate meetings organised with two of my country HR managers to review milestones and make decisions on key issues.

During lunch, I will be meeting a few regional colleagues to understand how the changes in their respective functions have impacted them positively and the areas we need to work on that require me or my team’s intervention.

After lunch, I have set aside time to coach a high-potential manager as part of our leadership development programme.

Q What’s for lunch?

Lunch starts at 12:00pm. As it is an informal working lunch with a few colleagues, we decided to head down to a famous local food place and enjoy a variety of local delicacies. Lunchtime is also about building positive relationships so we chat about our families, and personal hobbies/interests apart from work. It’s a good time to hear and share ideas, perspectives and interesting experiences with one another.

Q Back to work: what’s on the agenda, and how do you manage your time?

After lunch, it’s time to start preparing for the coaching session. Between 1:30pm to 2:30pm, I will be making notes by going through the profile, 360-degree feedback to get a better understanding of the individual I am meeting before the conversation and also mentally prepare myself to be supportive in the journey of helping him gain greater self-awareness, clarify goals and unlock potential.

Q What experience has made the greatest impact on your life?

The experience that resulted in the greatest change in me was when I had a chance to live overseas for a period of time. Having lived in Melbourne, Vietnam and Hong Kong for a total of 6.5 years, and living in a culture that is different from Singapore’s, has shaped the way I see the world, further defined my purpose and values, and allowed me to embrace diversity better.

Q It’s the end of the long workday - what’s your favourite way to end it?

I like ending the day by having dinner with my family, listening and sharing about our days. Listening to their stories, experiences, feelings and thoughts draws us closer to one another. The day will typically unwind with me either taking long walks, reading, or watching a documentary before settling in for some light music, drinking a glass of warm milk before turning to bed.