Self-Awareness and understanding your Motivational Value System – Applying Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) to Procurement and Negotiations
‘How can you influence others if you do not truly know yourself’
Working in Procurement is difficult, where we constantly have the challenges of meeting stakeholder needs – be they internal or external. Compounding this, we need to interface with our suppliers effectively to deliver the results we need for our own organisation.
The first step on the journey of being able to effectively deal with others is to fully understand you. How can you expect to influence others if you do not truly know yourself and your anchor point, upon which everything else is based?
The completion of a Total SDI, (Strength, Deployment Inventory) activity, if answered quickly and honestly, will allow a delegate to identify their Motivational Value System, (MVS), which represents who they are at their core, what drives and motivates them and what influences their behaviours. If we can understand, recognise and accept this, then we can move on and go forwards towards successful interaction with others.
If we can add to this by having a good understanding of our strengths and weaknesses following a ‘Strengths Portrait’ exercise, we will now be moving towards a much greater Self-Awareness.
We can learn to maximise our behavioural strengths without overdoing them – where they may then become a problem and we should look at our weaknesses, recognise them and be able to use them effectively when needed, not dismissed.
So where and why is this relevant, so what?!
We achieve things through our relationships and communication methods and they need to vary depending on the person that we are dealing with and the circumstances. We can not use the same approach for everybody, it will not work. We need to be flexible and adaptable to meet every situation.
We need to know ourselves, recognise traits in others and be able to ‘Borrow’ behaviours to get the right result, behaviours that may be weaknesses naturally for us but the ones we need, at that time to get the result that we need.
To provide a quick, brief understanding of SDI, in principal there are 7 types of individual ranging from Blue, Blue-Red, Red, Red-Green, Green, Green-Blue and Hub.
A Blue person is a people person, a red person is task / performance based, a green is process / data driven and a Hub sits in the middle. There is no right profile, all have their pro’s and con’s.
If you are fully aware of who you are, your MVS, what motivates and drives you and you are also able to regulate this in a difficult situation then you will be in a powerful position, especially if you can spot obvious traits in others and determine their SDI Profile.
So what use is this and how can it help you to influence stakeholders and suppliers.
We now move to the next element of your SDI Profile, which is extremely relevant for challenging situations – where do you move to in times of conflict and how much do you change?
From answers to a small number of questions, in a conflict scenario, you will determine this. Some people will move significantly in times of conflict and a drastic change in personality may occur, in others the level of change may be minimal.
In a negotiation scenario, this level of awareness and flexibility to borrow behaviours and recognise traits in others can put you at
a significant advantage. To provide a basic scenario to illustrate this, a red, (task) profile person just wants the get the task done, the result. A blue, (people) person will be all about the well-being of people and will display very different natural behaviours.
In negotiation with the red above, the blue should be able to flex and borrow behaviours appropriately. The blue could take their time, talk about how decisions may affect people and just effectively deliberately frustrate the red to a point where they van take advantage. Similarly they could surprise the red by taking an abrupt, aggressive stance, by borrowing naturally unfamiliar behaviours which again the red would not be expecting.
A well trained SDI delegate will know what they are doing and why they are doing it. They will be agile and will utilise various behaviours and drivers at appropriate times to get the result, an extremely powerful skill set in a negotiation environment.
This article was written by Gary Tinsley FCIPS, BA (Hons), DTLLS, Co Founder of SR Strategic Sourcing Ltd. Gary has over 30 years of Procurement Experience in both the Public and Private Sectors and has held Director positions in the Automotive, Retail and Food industries. Gary is also an active SDI Practitioner and Course Facilitator.
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