Two businesswomen talking to each other in an office © 123RF
Two businesswomen talking to each other in an office © 123RF

40% of buyers 'never trained in soft skills'

19 April 2016

Procurement is crying out for more soft skills training, according to a new CIPS survey in which 80% of procurement leaders said training in this area would improve their performance.

The survey of 239 senior procurement professionals found 40% of respondents had never received any soft skills training. A further 34% had only received it “some time ago”. 

Soft skills are usually associated with a person’s emotional intelligence (EI) and refer to personality traits such as social aptitude, communication, use of language and interpersonal skills.

These skills are believed to aid the formation of relationships, managing people and negotiation.

The survey, undertaken in partnership with JCA Global, found more than 66% of respondents felt understanding EI would help effective negotiation, but only 12% of organisations had adopted EI in internal training.

A further two thirds of respondents felt their knowledge of EI was at a basic level or they had no knowledge at all.

CIPS said this response clearly indicated “an industry-wide need for skills improvement”.

David Noble, group CEO, CIPS, said the organisation was aware of the importance of soft skills and the huge impact emotional intelligence can have in communication and negotiation.

The organisation had invested significantly in this area internally, he said. 

“It’s clear we now need to help members get greater access to these skills,” he added.

“The subject of emotional intelligence and soft skills development will be at the centre of many of our upcoming presentations; it’s clearly a critically important influence in the development of best practice.”

John Cooper, CEO of JCA Global, said: “The procurement sector is clearly calling out for more soft skills development.”

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