Some people may not accept this reason as important one. But for me meetings and communication to people is critical in Procurement. I am an extrovert and I really enjoy establishing the new relations with people.
Somewhere in the beginning of 2000’s my Procurement mentor (and senior executive of the big international corporation) said very wise thing. His words I still remember and use until today.
“Business is made between companies. Contracts are arranged between the companies. But remember that business negotiations and signatures under those contracts are made by human beings…“
I think that for the successful Procurement and Supply Chain career COMMUNICATION skills and NEGOTIATION skills are the same important as analytical and financial expertise.
People are different!
I really had a big journey (or…evolution) of understanding people. I divided this journey into 3 principal periods. So lets look into them:
Stage 1: Recognizing differences
This is the time when I started to SEE that people are different. And each individual has his or her own way to digest the information, to make analysis, to draw conclusions, and to take decisions. And I started to see that pushing my messages to other people’s mind takes efforts. Because they require different approach than me. I understood that people are different. And on this stage I started to choose which people understand me better and who will be a better speaking partner for me
Stage 2: Acceptance
This is the time when I stopped being mad that someone didn’t understand me, when I started to accept that people are different. Very important, so I will repeat it: people are different. It is okay that not everybody is thinking exactly the way I do. And if someone didn’t understand me – this is only my problem. Probably, I am explaining poorly or I didn’t choose the proper approach to a person.
Stage 3: Exploring differences
On this stage I started to use the difference of people. For example when building the project team I think not only about the professional experience and expertise. But I also consider the type of person which suits the project and the team in the best way. I understand that changing the adult person is quite stupid task. It is much better for organization if I would find the proper use of his/her personality.
I would emphasize the importance of listening to others. Because this skill is laying in the core of finding the strategic decisions, win-win solutions for negotiations and everyday problem solving practices.
Finally I give you the outstanding reason for listening more: we have TWO ears and only ONE mouth. Hence we should use them proportionally.
In my job I am happy to meet new people. Really many new and great people. Practically every week or every second week I go out from the office and travel to my suppliers… This part of the work is my favorite. And this is the time which I enjoy the most. Supplier relationship management and supplier portfolio management require a good and proactive communication with our partners. This forms the base for the good business development and strategic success of both parties.
Read other article by Robert Freeman:
Article by Robert Freeman
Procurement expert at Future Procurement
You can learn more about Procurement and Supply Chain Management at our web-site www.futureprocurement.net