Multiple personalities (scientifically known as Disasociative Identity Disorder) have been the stuff of horror fiction for at least a century. Playing fast and loose with psychology, films like Split and books like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have done little to alleviate the controversy and misconceptions that still surround the condition.

Unofficially, March 5th is recognized as Multiple Personality Day. After some research, it's evident that no one can agree why the holiday exists. Is it to raise awareness for a historically misrepresented illness, or a friendly reminder to reflect on the many sides of our own personalities? The jury is out.

For Procurement professionals, however, the day is perhaps best observed from a third perspective. It's an opportunity to acknowledge the multiple personalities that make for an effective and efficient Procurement team.

Flexibility has fueled Procurement's recent strategic evolution. Organizations across countless industries now employ nuanced, change-driving purchasing teams because they've embraced the combined power of Procurement's multiple personalities.

The mold for Procurement teams is continually changing because the mold for Procurement professionals is constantly changing. As innovators continue to bring diverse category expertise and unique skillsets, they alter the perception and boost the capabilities of Procurement.

Procurement's many new faces means that managers are often tasked with managing wildly different expectations, capabilities, and objectives. Here are a few tips for managing the multiple personalities at work within your team.

1. Ask the Right Questions
Learn what motivates each member of your Procurement team. Make a concerted effort to understand the thought processes behind the way they prioritize, set goals, and address challenges. Ask the appropriate questions, and you'll soon gain a better understanding of how each individual can best serve your organization's particular goals. This will make for more strategic decisions when it comes to managing projects and delegating tasks. You'll also learn how to avoid conflict between personalities and encourage teamwork moving forward.

2. Encourage Communication
Create an environment that encourages honest, consistent conversations and feedback. By emphasizing honesty and transparency in your performance reviews, you'll better encourage the practice among members of your Procurement team. Engaging in a constructive dialogue, your team members will learn how their different personalities can lead to creative solutions and serve the long-term goals of both their team and organization.

3. Don't Micromanage
As a manager, it's important to acknowledge that your personality will not always point to the correct solutions and strategies. Provide your team with the appropriate level of autonomy. All parties will learn which personality types are best suited to particular challenges. Don't leave your team fully to their own devices, but try to determine which team members are best suited to working independently and which prefer close collaboration.

4. Embrace Your Differences
A productive Procurement team and a healthy workplace culture both require respect and mutual investment. In your team-building efforts, encourage each member of your Procurement department to try and understand their co-worker's personalities. In doing so, they'll come to understand how each team member fits into company-wide strategies. Ideally, they'll also use these opportunities to exchange their category expertise, Procurement best practices, and project management strategies. A team with multiple personalities that each respect and understand one another will likely outperform a team of identical strangers.

In Procurement, as in life, it's essential to acknowledge the benefit of new points of view. Managers, don't attempt to standardize Procurement's personality. Embrace your team's differences, and learn to encourage collaboration between the disparate personalities that make for Procurement success.

Looking for help recruiting, staffing, or training the right Procurement personalities. Reach out to the talent strategic sourcing team at Source One today.
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