Myers-Briggs for Procurement, Part 3: Sensing and Intuition

Welcome back! Just joining in? We’re working our way through the four Myers-Briggs dichotomies, or pairings of opposite traits, that define a person’s natural tendencies. We introduced the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators in Part 1 and focused on the first dichotomy (extraversion vs. introversion) in Part 2.

In this post, we will look at the first set of psychological functions: sensing and intuition, also known as the ‘perceiving functions’.

Procurement professionals frequently collect both quantitative and qualitative information. How we assess that information and weight the data gained into our analysis can have a significant impact on the award decisions made by our organizations.

Traditionally, procurement performance metrics have focused on savings and spend under management, both measurable and in most cases the result of straightforward calculations. As the emphasis on value creation continues to grow, these quantitative measures will become less a representation of our performance and more a component of our overall contribution to corporate competitiveness.

Both sensing and intuition have a place in today’s procurement teams.

Do you primarily rely on sensing or intuition when gathering and interpreting new information? Let’s find out!

If you are a procurement professional who relies on sensing, you likely:

  • Put more emphasis on what data tells you about a spend category than what stakeholders say are additional considerations
  • Are suspicious of suppliers who claim there are soft benefits associated with their solution, but can’t provide the corresponding metrics
  • Have a good working relationship with finance because you understand their insistence upon visibility into realized savings

If you are a procurement professional who relies on intuition, you likely:

  • Look at a spend category in the context of all other purchasing activity rather than as defined by current contracts
  • Enjoy digging into large, complex spend categories that require an understanding of underlying operational drivers and external market forces
  • Pursue forward-looking opportunities to collaborate with suppliers on product development or usage even when there is not a short term payback

Remember, neither inclination is better than the other. If you clearly recognize your own strengths, you can position yourself for assignments and job roles that leverage your qualities rather than force you to temper them.

In my next post, we will look at the other psychological dichotomy: thinking versus feeling. This pairing of traits is not as soft as it sounds, and is critical in the decision making process.

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