Friday 19 May 2017

Soft Skills for Procurement Success

I spoke about Soft Skills at the CIPS East of Scotland branch meeting earlier this week. I'd like to hope that at least some of those there were inspired to come to hear more about soft skills, rather than just the CIPS/Hays salary guide 2017 that Suzanne Dillon shared with us earlier in the evening.

I used my recently developed soft skills toolkit as the basis of my talk. The toolkit uses postcards written to procurement from their soft skills.

At the start of the session I asked people to share the challenges they have with soft skills. As a result, I promised to pull an index together of posts I've written to answer the challenges, and to provide further information on subjects touched on in my talk.

This is that very index, for you to dip in and out of as needed over the coming days, weeks and months. You just need to follow the highlighted hypertext link and it will take you to the relevant post.

They won't be going anywhere so no need to read them all in one go :-). Just get a coffee, or wine for that matter, and pop along when you're in need of a different perspective, and pick a post or two to read.

Content of the Talk:
  • How can you influence others - vlog with insight from those flowers that follow the sun.
Challenges you asked for additional insight on 
I'll have to come back to and write posts to address the following challenges: 
  • "When do we use our soft skills?" I'll do a soft skills diary at some point, and for now will just say - I think soft skills are responsible for 'how' we do everything every minute of every day.
  • "How do we develop our soft skills?" The same as any other skill - it's simply a case of taking it out of unconscious awareness into conscious awareness. You'll find more here. It's why I've developed the Soft Skill Toolkit, and you'll find more about how to use that here.
  • "How do we measure the impact of soft skills?" I suspect it's in people achieving their objectives better.
  • "How do I get my team to take soft skills seriously?" Hmm what gets measure gets done - so the answer may lie in the measures of success used in the organisation.  
  • "How do I increase peoples level of self awareness?" Whilst it is very personal I do think the culture within an organisation can help - vulnerability and asking for help need to be accepted and encouraged in order for people to lower their defences long enough to hear the feedback. Which starts with the manager being a role model for this too. This post, asking if we have our head in the sand about our own level of self awareness, might also help. 
Unconventional Tools that I use in Coaching and Training
My Passions
  • This index of top 10 Purchasing coach posts might explain more about what I get passionate about - the main ingredient not mentioned already is about taking our humanity with us to work every day, and inviting procurement to be Enlightened and not to fall back on being Mr Wolf (descriptions used by some suppliers I trained last year)!
The Sales Pitch - ie what I could do for you
  • Coaching
  • Organisational soft skills training
  • Team facilitation - unlocking the potential of procurement teams
  • Open workshops - I'm going to be offering some 1 day soft skills workshops here in Fife over the summer - do drop me a line if you'd like me to send you details once they're sorted. I can promise they won't involve sitting in a hotel conference room all day. 
  • I also deliver procurement and supplier management workshops - direct and as an associate. Here's an index of posts linked to the content and discussions during a 3 day category management workshop, and updated after each session. 
Email or even call me +44 (0)7770 538159 

Hopefully you'll have found at least one post that adds to your insight on soft skills, and has inspired you to do something different. Which reminds me of something I forgot to say, and that's that the quickest way to learn new things is to get your 'doing new things' muscle working by doing something different everyday - here's how I fared when I did it for 28 days last year.

Do keep in touch - here in comments, over on LinkedIn, or email.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Unlocking individual and procurement potential using unconventional tools
(with some conventional tools thrown in for good measure)

1 comment: