Emotional intelligence can help auditors build and maintain positive, productive relationships throughout the organization.
Mark was dreading his meeting with Dave. His team had identified significant control issues in the new purchasing system — significant enough to have a negative impact on the system’s stated objectives. Dave, the executive responsible for the system, had promised senior management it would not fail.
Mark walked into Dave’s office after deciding it was best to get right to the point. “You’ve seen the draft of the audit report,” he said. “It is apparent that the issues we identified reveal the program will not meet any of its agreed upon goals.”
To Mark’s surprise, Dave had no response — he just kept looking down at the report printout. But just as Mark was about to discuss potential corrective actions, Dave exploded. “I know how you auditors work,” he yelled. “You come into an area you don’t understand and dig until you find something wrong. You’re just trying to Emotional intelligence can help auditors build and maintain positive, productive relationships throughout the organization. make a name for yourselves — you’ve always been out to get me.”
Mark was taken aback but refused to ignore the attack on himself and his department. “We know exactly what we’re doing,” Mark snapped back. “And our only problem with you is that your project’s failure will cost the organization a fortune.” The conversation then quickly devolved into a shouting match, with fingers pointed and accusations of incompetence and poor leadership thrown about. Eventually, Mark was summarily dismissed from Dave’s office.
As this scenario — based on real events — reveals, even the most well-intentioned meeting can go quickly awry. And while numerous reasons could be given for the communication breakdown, in essence both parties’ emotions superseded rational discussion.
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