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People-Centric Skills: Interpersonal and Communication Skills for Auditors and Business Professionals by Danny M. Goldberg, Manny Rosenfeld

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CHAPTER 4 Managing Conflict with Difficult Executives

IT WAS LATE Monday afternoon, and Matt was having a horrendous day. He had been pacing in his office like a caged tiger, not even looking out the window at the Chicago River, as he usually did when troubled or in deep thought. Lila stuck her head in his office, but seeing his mood, decided the budget discussion could wait, and silently vanished without Matt even seeing her.

Matt had just hung up with Tom Peterson, the president of the Plastics Molding Division. Tom was in a rage, raving about the lack of business savvy and incompetence of Bill Dorset, the Audit Manager currently in charge of assessing the internal controls of the Plastics Molding Division, based in Mobile, Alabama.

Matt had chosen Bill to lead this audit because even though he wasn't a very experienced manager, his personality should have been able to work effectively with the erratic and often unreasonable Tom. Bill was a calm, polite, and well-liked manager, and he usually received very high compliments from audit clients. He was very focused on doing what was best for MultiCrown, and he was very good with people. Over the past few weeks, Bill had been apprising him of the emerging audit observations and noting that the relationship between the audit team and Tom was continuing to head south. Probably so as not to disappoint him, Bill had understated the problems, and inadvertently overstated ...

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