ISO 19011:2011 describes the following personal behaviours as being required by auditors; Ethical, Open minded, Diplomatic, Observant, Perceptive, Versatile, Tenacious, Decisive, Self-reliant, Acting with fortitude, Open to improvement, Culturally sensitive and Collaborative.
From experience, the following are pretty handy too…
Pleasant – be nice to people – smile, shake hands and remember in most cases you have been invited into their organisation.
Genuine – show real interest in what they do. Listen, nod your head, ask sensible questions and try not to deliberately trick people.
Presentable – look the part, dress properly; clean your shoes, iron your shirt and brush your hair. However, there is no need to go over the top, a suit and tie, or high heels and lots of jewellery is most probably not appropriate for visiting a construction site or a meatworks. Dress appropriately.
Trustworthy – don’t say one thing to one person and a different thing to someone else. If someone says something that needs to be shared – tell them that you have tell others.
Transparent – keep people informed about what you are thinking. If you find something that is not correct – tell them, get their agreement. Explain that you need to write things down, show people your notes.
Open – do not save your findings up until the closing meeting – or worse still your written report. Make sure the right people know your findings as you find them. This will ensure the closing meeting and your report are more readily accepted.
Clear – ensure any findings are plain and simply explained. Do not use words or language that others will not understand.
Unknowledgeable – do not come across as the expert in all things. Ask people to explain how they do it. You do not have to continually demonstrate that you know more than them.
Non–gender specific – not all managers and CEO’s are men and not all administration staff are women. Not all preschool teachers are female and not all truck drivers are male. Use terms like “they” rather than “he” or “she.
Equivalent – work with people, don’t dominate, demand, force, bully, belittle or manipulate people. They have a job to do as well.