I'm often asked about the return on investment for coaching, soft skills & personal development, and wrote this post recently and thought it made a great start to this page on the coaching service I offer. The post is entitled The 7 barriers to optimal performance.

The coaching I offer includes 1:1 or 1:3 coaching solutions. These may last for an hour, a half day or even for a retreat like weekend - for one session or a series - it depends on the coachee and their objectives.
1:1 Coaching
1:1 coaching can take up to 3 different forms:
1. Consultancy Support

Coaching individuals through the category management / supplier management process. Ideally from start to finish.
2. Manager Directed Coaching

Support to individuals to develop key competencies with objectives and current level of competency agreed with their line manager and communicated to the coach at the start of the process.
Competencies may include:
  • Technical Procurement Skills for example Category management, Negotiation, Spend analysis, Cost management, Supplier management and so on.
  • Business Skills for example Communication & influencing, Organisation and planning, Managing change, Leadership, Managing self and so on.
3. Personal Coaching

Support for topics identified by the individual.

As their coach I’m providing a safe place to ask for support to do their job - whether that support is around:
  • Confidence, Problem solving, Creativity, Time or project management, Career planning, Change management, Life balance, Stakeholder engagement (within procurement, internally or externally), and so on.
  • Helping them become more self-aware or improve their emotional intelligence. 
Objectives are agreed with the individual at the start of the coaching process, and the start of each session. Progress and action plans are monitored, and sessions flexed to meet any specific challenges being faced at that time. 

1:3 Coaching
To support competency development, and to be able to work directly on individual blocks to progress half day clinics for up to 3 individuals are offered.
To date topics have included: Influencing and stakeholder engagement, Negotiation, Planning and time management, Options generation, innovation & creativity, Meeting & facilitation skills. Other topics might include Inspiring change, Problem resolution, Unlocking supplier potential. 

Many of the above subjects have been included in the Purchasing Coach Soft Skills Toolkit. It brings together a number of postcards sent to procurement from your soft skills. More here

During 1:3 coaching sessions individuals are tasked with some pre-work, and are also invited to bring a real-life challenge they’re facing to work on during the clinics.
After a refresher or teach of relevant models participants are invited in turn to apply the models to their real-life situation. Through a combination of role play (often involving all attendees), group discussion, or use of some unconventional tools or techniques they explore together different ways of resolving the challenges they’re each facing.
Attendees like the small group size and the informal, open and confidential way in which problems are discussed. I also find it encourages them to work in smaller groups more often to solve problems, or to role play different scenarios.
This type of just in time procurement training is an area that I believe should be utilised more fully whether supported by trained coaches and trainers, or undertaken by the individuals' manager.
If you'd be interested in finding out more about coaching options for you or your team do get in touch +44 (0)7770 538159.