Emotional intelligence (EI) should be an essential skill for procurement professionals, the CIPS Australasia Conference in Sydney heard last week.
CIPS group director Cath Hill told delegates procurement needed to “show its value” as it was often the “home of innovation” in organisations.”
“You in the profession need to be building and promoting that value to your own internal stakeholders,” she said. “What is the point in having excellent procurement skills if nobody knows what you can do?”
EI, which is a critical factor in distinguishing high performers, is the capacity of individuals to recognise their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
As well as being linked to high performance, having higher EI is linked to higher earnings and being a more successful leader.
“Those in senior positions tend to have higher emotional intelligence and they also have better relationships with their stakeholders,” said Hill.
She added that other benefits to organisations of having high levels of EI was the ability to attract and retain higher quality staff, higher levels of collaboration, improved financial performance and a more adaptable – and happier – workforce.
How do you improve your EI? Hill offered these top five tips.
1. Establish your credibility
2. Be a trusted adviser
3. Learn from colleagues
4. Understand business goals
5. Lead from the front: be brave, passionate and confident