Coaching in Procurement

My life would definitively not be the same without coaching. The day I stepped into the incredible world of coaching, my life became easier and I started to understand why I was reacting, the way I was doing it, to certain things, attitudes, situation or people.
I have been working in procurement for almost 20 years. In all those years, I have attended several trainings; I have experienced team dynamics and have had several evaluations. I am also lucky that I have had the support of several managers and colleagues who have helped me throughout the way.
However, I have never had a coach or a mentor. A couple of years ago, I stepped into my first coaching session, and then I understood and experienced the full benefits of coaching.
Coaching helped me to understand myself better. Often, I was taking certain situations in a personal way. For example, I often thought that if someone in my team was not comfortable it was my responsibility. Through coaching I could make the difference between the consequences of my actions and the own projections of the person. I can now better stand in my position and make a better difference between my own responsibility and the one of others.
When I started my own coaching process I could recognized my natural talents and made an evaluation of what I wanted to do for the next 20 years. Through my transformation process my purpose became clear and that’s why I decided to start my own business to use my professional experience and my journey to help other professionals and individuals in their transformational journey.

Why I recommend coaching in Procurement?
During the last years, procurement organizations have been successful in delivering costs savings, supply reliability, cash and sometimes innovation and, on the other hand, they have struggled to play a more strategic role.
At the present moment, we are asking to the purchasers to be also risk managers, sustainability enhancers, continuous improvement of relationships and processes, participating in a global market, understand and apply new technologies, business analytics minded, leading in innovation, collaborate effectively, increase transparency in the supply chain, be agile and by the way doing their procurement tasks and realizing the expected savings in their company.
To this environment, we need to add the fact that the current Purchasing managers will be
likely replaced by millennials.
That means that procurement needs to become much more strategic with purpose and a strong, credible business partner in identifying and delivering value to the business in an increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.

How are you going to manage it all?

To achieve a higher performance in this context, it´s time, among other aspects, to ask for individual or team coaching for the following reasons. In this article, I will focus on benefits of individual coaching with my personal touch, as I know the Procurement and Coaching environment:

  • Development of self-awareness.

Self-knowledge and self-awareness will help you to be a much more coherent professional/leader. Coherent meaning that you will do/implement what you really think and what you feel. Especially millenials will lead this change, as they really want to find meaning and purpose in what they are doing.

  • Are you in the right position and in the right place?

What’s more, do you really want to be there? This is of course a very difficult question and requires an honest reflection; however, it is crucial for you and your environment. Are you occupying a position where you can release all your potential and is this path what you really want? If this is not the case, eventually, you will face many roadblocks and you will leave the company or get a burn out in extreme demanding conditions. A coach can guide you to identify which is your optimal function and what you really deeply want.

  • Release your potential.

If you are in the right position, it is time to release all your potential. A coach will help you first, to understand your skills and personality so you can focus on your natural skills. For me, this is also crucial. Of course, we can learn and we can train abilities, but it will require a much bigger effort. The key is to concentrate your efforts in the tasks and responsibilities that are natural for you.

  •  Build confidence and trust.

As soon as you understand your potential, you will be more confident and trusting yourself. A coach can help you identify your limiting beliefs and struggles so you can overcome them.

  •  Communication

You will improve your communication skills so you will engage your stakeholders in a much more effective and reliable way. You will present your plans with much more clarity and focus to engage and motivate your public.

  •  Management skills.

If you are a manager or want to become a manager, a coach will help you to do that from your natural mpowerment. That means that being in your position and in your power you will be able to manage your people using your own style. I have seen often and experience by myself that as a manager, when you step out in other positions you then lose your power or give it to someone else.

  • Negotiation skills and managing your suppliers (and stakeholders).

Like in management skills it is very important that you keep your position firmly and that you transmit coherence and clarity in your message. Only then, you will get effective and affordable results.

  • Strategic skills.

You will work on recovering your own position, your power and your confidence; you will have the time and energy to evaluate the circumstances around you to generate the right strategic plans.

  • Flexibility and Resilience.

You can only be flexible and resilience if you really know and understand your core (your skills, behaviour and nature) and your place. When or if something happens, since you know and control your center, you will be able to recover much quicker.

For all these reasons, I recommend you to work with a coach if you really want to achieve your results. It would be nice if your company supports and finance the initiative, but in case they don’t, invest in yourself and you will recover the investment through the benefits pretty soon. Just notice that this is what top athletes do to improve their performances! And on top of that, be aware that coaching is not anymore just for high executives.