Effective communications with internal stakeholders
Having positive relationships with stakeholders is just a beginning. The real objective here is getting work done by facilitating the information flow between stakeholders and procurement. The information is exchanged voluntarily, even when an organisation forces its people to dutifully exchange the information with other co-workers, some can still withhold for their own sake. Good relationships with stakeholders will reduce the motivation for withholding the information and increase the collaboration. Still, the procurement professional should know how to communicate effectively with the stakeholders.
Keep it super simple
Human’s brain is not a computer, you can’t simply remember everything you read or see or hear and one day the brain alerts that it is going out of memory. Therefore, don’t expect the stakeholders remember everything you tell them. Rather, make things simple for them, provide some information that they can act on.
To facilitate the internal communications, many organisations standardise the words being used. You may see this phenomenon in any business software. For example, a purchase order on ERP system is shown as ‘Pending approval’ or ‘Delivered’. This will keep the communication a lot easier since the information is enough for further action. ‘Delivered’ means that the delivery is finished and it’s time to initiate payment to the supplier. ‘Pending approval’ means that a manager has not approved the order. If this label is unchanged for a long time, maybe the manager forgets about this order, so you need to remind him.
Knowing their styles
Not every problem at work can be explained simply. In more complex situations, keep things simple is no longer appropriate and the conversation becomes more complicated. To communicate effectively, you should choose the right style of communication.
In this post, style means the way in which a person retain information more effectively. Some people love reading, and they retain information from reading very well. Other people like listening, as they can give decision better if someone talks to them directly.
The communication styles of other colleagues can be discovered through working together. You may know this by testing different methods. Can they summarise a long report and ask you the right questions or do they want a presentation with visualisation?
If the stakeholders are good readers, write them a detailed report. If they prefer listening, make a phone call or prepare for a formal presentation.
Good communication is lubricant to any business. It prompts the right action to be undertaken and problems to be fixed. As a procurement professional, this is a soft skill that you should never overlook.