In my pursuit to better understand the challenges and problems my counterparts in procurement face, I took the leap this month and signed up to a Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply event in London. 

The topic sounded interesting, "Stakeholder Engagement – How to Influence Difficult Stakeholders". Perhaps there would be some synergy with the challenges I face in my work...

I should have paid a bit more attention when signing up. The speaker, Mark Sharratt was from consultancy firm Dale Carnegie.  That's the consultancy firm set up by Dale Carnegie of "How to make friends and influence people". I was in for a treat. 

After a really interactive hour discussing challenging stakeholders, theories of influence and how to develop better tactics and approaches to managing relationships, I'm feeling more confident in how I'll tackle even the toughest colleagues when I'm in heated bid or pursuit. 

But more importantly, I met some amazing procurement professionals who saw value in speaking to a "bidder" and who will help me understand the world of procurement further. From a founder of a procurement start-up to a procurement manager from a FTSE500,  I got some new contacts and an opportunity to learn and develop.

I've captured my thoughts on the event, some of the outcomes and what I learned in the podcast below. I look forward to many more CIPS events in the furure.