What is an auditor?

What is an auditor?  If you look in the dictionary, the first and most obvious meaning is that an auditor is a person who conducts an audit. 

The second meaning of the word is more powerful.  It comes from “audientis”, the Latin word for “listener”.

An auditor is a listener.  In order to be a good auditor, you need to be able to communicate well – and then LISTEN to the information that you’re receiving.  

As an auditor, you need to develop your active listening skills. You need to OBTAIN information. You need to UNDERSTAND and you need to be able to LEARN from that information.

Show the person that you are in conversation with that you’re paying attention and listening to what they are saying.  

Provide feedback throughout the conversation.  This will engender trust and facilitate a better interview. 

Try not to judge too quickly.  Continue to press for more information, and when it’s sufficient, come to a reasoned judgement rather than jumping too early to a conclusion.  

When engaging in active listening, take care to respond appropriately to the information being conveyed to you.  Don’t overreact – but then don’t underreact either.  Take your cue from the individual who you are interviewing.  Find out how they feel about the information they’re conveying.

We’ve all experienced auditors who are in love with the sound of their own voice. DON’T BE THAT AUDITOR! Work to continuously improve your active listening skills. It is your key skill set for obtaining actionable information that will help to improve your operations.