SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Candace Masuda, outlines how soft skills evolve procurement professionals into successful stakeholder managers.
As procurement professionals, we are required to wear many hats. We are consultants, analysts, problem solvers and project managers. All these qualities are necessary but not as crucial as having internal personal/soft skills. Interpersonal skills are the key to success in leading teams, negotiating and maintaining great relationships with our internal and external customers.
Several years ago, I was fortunate to attend a management training class. Something really resonated with me in that class about leadership and styles. There was a survey that reached out to several Fortune 500 companies. The goal of the study was to determine the most favored management style amongst their employees.
What Makes a Leader
Employees were asked to think of their favorite manager, past or present. What were the skills this person exhibited which made them great to work with? The survey results were interesting. The typical characteristics were technical, analytical and on-the-job experience. However, though these skills were at the top of the list, they were not the most significant. The most valuable skill was the manager that had strong people skills. The employees worked harder, enjoyed their job and were highly motivated.
Candace Masuda, Procurement Specialist, American Honda Motor Co.