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Communication in Procurement: Back to Basics

Posted by Kelly Deacon on Sep 15, 2016 8:35:00 AM

    
Communication_In_ProcurementFast Company’s Gwen Moran recently published an article entitled 8 Ways To Put Anyone At Ease; Eight strategies for being more approachable and fine-tuning your communication skills. Although we talk a lot on this blog about the importance of communication; both with stakeholders (Boosting Buyer Buy-In and Leveraging Sourcing & Procurement's Forward Thinkers) as well as with leadership (When Your Sourcing Program Falls Short of Expectations and What's Holding You Back? 4 Sourcing Strategies for Success), this article got me thinking about the importance of how we present ourselves to others in the most basic of ways.

Everyone agrees that there has been an evolution of sorts - the stakes are higher and procurement plays an important role in the organization. Success is based, in part, on our ability to influence, persuade, and affect those around us. If we’re successful in these areas our odds have having a meaningful impact on the success of the organization increase substantially.

Step one? Build a foundation of trust and mutual respect. A few of Moran’s 8 Steps To Put Anyone At Ease provide a wonderful framework.

Pay Attention

This step seems simple, yet we get caught up in our busyness of the day and often neglect to give the person we’re talking with our undivided attention. It goes a long way to simply make eye contact (no looking at your phone!) and keep your body language open.

Adapt Your Style

This is where being a bit of a chameleon can be an asset. Adapt your style to whoever you’re communicating with - if they’re quiet and introverted, try to mirror that calm demeanor. When working with a detail oriented individual, anticipate their questions and come to the discussion as prepared as possible.

Be Empathetic

Pushing your agenda before truly working to understand others’ points of view is always a turn off. By understanding where someone’s coming from you can better address their concerns and possibly make adjustments to address their needs more effectively.

Disclose Something About Yourself

Or rather, disclose a past experience to which someone can relate. Once you have an understanding of someone’s goals, hesitations, and roadblocks, share a time another stakeholder encountered (and overcame) a similar situation.

For all 8 ways to put anyone at ease you can read the full article here.

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Topics: Motivational