How to Deal with Difficult Auditors What is a difficult auditor? ? • Asks tricky questions • Likes to show off knowledge • Has accent you are not comfortable with • E j Enjoys seeing people cry i l • Places “shalls” where no “shalls” exists • Says things like “I gotcha!” Doesn t • Doesn’t have the capability to understand other approaches • Has a lot of time to dispose of Handling “ “riddlers” ” • Listen carefully. Most tricky questions start with “WHY”. • Stick to the question. Don’t expound on question what you think the auditor means. • Answer with conviction. Auditors are trained to pick up on hesitancy and uncertainty • Know what your process is, what is resources you need to do your job and how the effectiveness and efficiency of your work affects th next process k ff t the t Handling “ “braggers”. ” • Let them boast. • Understand that some auditors have the th propensity to act lik consultants it t t like lt t • Lure him to use the whiteboard. • “For those who make th “F th h k themselves l great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.” – Luke 14:11 • It pays to act with humility. Handling “ “rappers” ” • If you do not understand a question, ask that it be rephrased until you do. • D Department heads should accompany t th d h ld auditors and, if needed, should step in to clarify. • Try not to answer vague questions. y • Remember that fluency in the auditor’s preferred language is not a requirement Audit True S Stories During a QS audit our new Japanese Sales Manager (fluent in English by the way) had just been transferred to our US facility. The auditor was questioning office employees and h ti i ffi l d happened t d to notice the new Sales manager trying to dodge the audit. The auditor still was able to corner him, and asked what the company quality policy statement was. After moaning and groaning, the sales manager replied that he knew it but could only speak it in Japanese. BUSTED!!! The auditor was married to a woman from Japan. He was fluent in Japanese, and had lived in Japan for 5 years. He immediately asked in Japanese something to the effect of. "Great, I p g , speak Japanese, could you please tell me in Japanese?". After a few moments they both started to laugh. No N/C was written..... Handling “ “sadist” ” • Be friendly and cordial. • Be polite. • Don’t be rude. An angry auditor is not a friendly auditor who may be willing to negotiate possible findings should they arise. g g • Arguing with an auditor is like wrestling a pig in mud; suddenly you realize that the pig is enjoying itself. Audit True S Stories Auditor: Have you had training to do your job? Employee: Oh yes! I've had lots of training. In fact, I've had so much training, I , g, forget what I've been trained on! Auditor: Well, that s good...all that training that's will look good on your resume. Employee: (sudden panic) Why? Am I going somewhere? Have I been fired? Handling “f “fanatics” ” • Understand that fanatics live in a world where common sense is over shadowed by theory and where the letter of the law far outweighs the intent of the law. • Ask the auditor: “WHERE IS THE SHALL?” Audit True S Stories: The auditor wrote the company up saying '...it is not easy for me to tell the changes in the two quality manuals... I asked where it said it has to manuals..." be 'easy' to tell all the changes. The auditor hemmed and hummed, etc, and finally said (as we thumbed thru ISO9000) "...well, it's implied..." ) Horse sh_t. This was at the very beginning of the audit. The auditor kept the 'minor' on that but after I challenged him he did 'take it easy' the rest of the audit. This is when I learned much of this is opinion and interpretation. I now tell every client interpretation. "Be ready to fight." - Marc Smith Handling “ “geologists” ” "I know there's a major in this place somewhere, I just can't find it." - words from a stupid auditor • Keep good records and challenge the auditor (gracefully) when required. • Don’t provide any extraneous Don t extraneous, unsolicited information. • Answer with as few words as possible. Don’t talk. Just KISS ’ SS Auditor: Do you have a procedure? Auditee: Yes. Auditor: Do you understand your procedure? Auditee: Yes. Auditor: Can you tell me your procedure? Auditee: Y A dit Yes Auditor: What is your procedure? Auditee: (Answer with as few words as possible. If they need more. Let them ask for it.) Handling “ “lunatics” ” •Question: •Answer: Do you know the difference between an auditor and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist terrorist. • Auditors with this ailment have common sense deficiency deficiency. • Let him/her be first, we’ll restrain him/her later. • Play along. Be careful it’s contagious. • Stick to what you believe is right. • Use the CB’s procedure for appeals. Audit True S Stories: • Depending on my mood I might say something along the lines of "Are we a burden to you or are you just having a bad day?" and if either are agreed to as being his/her "problem" problem I would say "Would you call and have someone else come out to audit or do you think this can be done in a more professional manner?" But that is just me. - QMR who encountered a “deranged” auditor How to kill time? ? • Don’t be in a hurry to get the audit over with. Delays usually work to your advantage advantage. • If staying in a room is preferred than going to actual location, then this is better for us. • Auditors are trained to leave pauses after asking questions and receiving answers, as this sometimes encourages the auditee to reveal more answers, do not be afraid to leave a silence. How to kill time? ? • Ask the auditor to clarify something. • Draw the “consultant” out of him. • If there’s an opportunity, offer him coffee or tea. • If you are i th middle of a t k and in the iddl f task, d it is important that you finish the task, ask the auditor to wait for a , while. • Bring the auditor to a “good” place to have lunch / dinner. h l h di Other points to consider Other • Emloyees only have to tell the auditor about their job. • The auditor doesn t know everything about doesn't your division of labor, so questions that cross into other persons areas are to be expected. expected • Do not be afraid to say that you do not understand the question. The auditor will rephrase the q estion Rephrasing question. questions and assisting people to understand them, is part of an auditor’s job. • Do not give examples if not explicitly asked. Other points to consider Other • Do not panic if the auditor starts writing – they have to report on positive as well as negative obse at o s egat e observations. • Never Say: "We don't do that here", "I didn't get a chance to prepare", "We've been too busy for that", "I didn t get enough that I didn't cooperation!!!” • Keep work areas neat and well organized! Avoid cl tter A oid clutter. Good Ho sekeeping is very Housekeeping er important!!! • No fingerpointing if someone chokes! • Instruct your subordinates similarly.
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