Beginner Courses

Communications Skills

The aim of the workshop is to develop participants’ capability to communicate more effectively, engage all kinds of people and groups to gain a better outcome and improved relationships.


This workshop explores practical contexts in which practitioners in the procurement process may interact with others both inside and outside their own organisation. The workshop will develop skills and confidence in diagnostic interviews, presentations, small group facilitation and influencing.

This course is designed for:

This workshop will be of benefit to practitioners whose role involves them in interacting with others, and who wish to develop their personal confidence and capability in communicating more effectively.

Course structure

A practical one-day workshop consisting of nine session involving exercises, case studies, presentations and trainer-facilitated discussions. Each of the sessions will be led by an experienced facilitator and will feature the key principles and practical methods which may be used in the procurement process, together with practical case study sessions to maximise the transfer from the workshop to the workplace.

Benefits of attending

This workshop will develop your capability and confidence and equip you with practical skills that can be deployed in workplace interactions.

As well as this delegates will gain three key benefits from attending:

  1. More confidence in leading and facilitating interactions with others working in and around the supply chain
  2. More effective communication will help foster improved relationships and better mutual understanding with stakeholders
  3. Less likelihood that stakeholder relationships will be compromised through poor communication behaviours or failure to build appropriate levels of rapport and engagement

Key learning outcomes

  • Develop confidence in your communication ability and recognise how you can be more effective in communications with others
  • Develop empathy to diagnose stakeholder issues through questioning and tuning in to what is said and what is not said
  • Improve ability to engage with and influence small groups through improved facilitation capability
  • Develop capability to communicate abstract and complex ideas both in writing and orally when presenting to others
  • Develop the capability to project yourself more confidently in a range of situations so that your performance is more impactful


Course Content


Communication skills in overview

  • Interpersonal skills overview
  • Questioning skills and diagnosing information
  • Listening and tuning in to verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Facilitating small groups and teams
  • Influencing people; push & pull styles
  • Presentation skills, oral and in writing
  • Giving and receiving feedback with others
  • Improving your own personal “brand”

Interpersonal skills overview

  • Challenging stereotypes about procurement people and their behaviour
  • Values, beliefs and behaviour
  • Typical examples of procurement interactions in the workplace

Questioning skills and diagnosing information

  • Types of questions
  • Open questions and their use
  • Closed questions and their use
  • Probing questions and their use
  • Leading questions and their use
  • It’s not an interrogation; making the questioning natural and spontaneous not mechanical and inquisitive

Listening and tuning in to verbal and non-verbal communication

  • What Mehrabian actually said
  • Gap searching versus active listening
  • Tips, tricks and traps of active listening
  • How do you “tune in” to what is not said?
  • Non-verbal communication; bunkum or legitimate mechanism to communicate feedback?
  • Looking for clusters of feedback; the content, the voice, and the dance
  • Emotional literacy in stakeholder interactions

Facilitating small groups and teams

  • How facilitation differs from presentation
  • The facilitator’s role; concern for process and concern for outcome
  • Planning the session; before the event
  • Why participation is better than presentation
  • At the meeting; designing and setting the task
  • At the meeting; when to allow debate and when to intervene
  • Tips, tricks and traps of facilitation

Influencing people using push and pull styles

  • How push styles differ from pull styles
  • Push style; the governance enforcer
  • Push style; the fact-based logician
  • Push style; the control freak
  • Pull style; the charming people person
  • Pull style; the problem solver
  • Pull style; the bridger
  • Tips, tricks and traps of influencing

Presentation skills, oral and in writing

  • How to make boring presentations
  • Tips, tricks and traps of presentation skills
  • Designing slides; some golden rules
  • Oral presentations; how to be more impactful in terms of your posture and gesture
  • Oral presentations; how to be more impactful in terms of your voice and delivery
  • Oral presentations; how to be more impactful in terms of writing the content
  • Tips, tricks and traps of writing persuasively

Giving and receiving feedback with others

  • Developmental feedback and motivational feedback; what’s the difference?
  • Designing a feedback session; bad news first?
  • Delivering developmental feedback; some golden rules
  • Delivering motivational feedback
  • Receiving feedback; why do we become defensive?
  • Receiving feedback; good practice in responding

Improving your own personal “brand”

  • Positive brand attributes of procurement people
  • Negative brand attributes of procurement people
  • What are your personal values?
  • The presentation of self in everyday life
  • What your LinkedIn profile says about you
  • Negative self-scripts and tweaking them into positive affirmations
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