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Tips & Tricks of the Trade – Bud Weightman



Bud Weightman wears the crown as Exemplar Global’s longest serving certified auditor, and his relationship with us spans over an incredible 30 years. He has over 40 years of industry experience and is the founder and president of Qualified Specialists, International (QSI), an organization that has been serving the oil and gas industry for more than 32 years.

QSI is a professional consulting, auditing, training and management systems technology firm headquartered in Houston, Texas in the USA. QSI also offers a suite of software applications for deploying management systems to multiple locations of the same company internationally.

Given the breadth and depth of his experience, Bud said that having a strong set of #TipsandTricksoftheTrade under his belt has contributed to his successful career. Central to this was Bud’s discovery of communication management books which have guided him through tricky situations and uncertain moments in his career. This began with a book called ‘Smart Questions’ which he found whilst preparing for a management training class years ago.

“As years passed, I audited in many countries and had to immerse myself into the culture of the country I was in; including the culture of the organization I happen to be auditing. I’ve audited alone and I have led large audit teams auditing every level of organizations, from manufacturing, fabrication, service, and field locations to executive teams,” Bud said.

“Upon occasion, I felt uncomfortable for one reason or another. Sometimes I sensed something was a bit off but didn’t know what or why. Other times it was very apparent, I saw personalities change as I began asking audit questions. It was obvious that some people became emotional, resistant, angry, anxious, etc. The more I audited, the more I realized that behavioral patterns emerged, and I could see or feel it before the behavior surfaced,” he continued.

At this point, it dawned on Bud that he should re-read ‘Smart Questions.’ After reading it again his curiosity peaked, and he searched for additional books on communication. By delving into more of these books, it became clear that the three vital techniques for auditors to practice and understand: body language, questioning and listening.

“By watching an auditee’s reactions and carefully listening to their response and tone of voice, I found myself in a better position to craft my questions to better understand them,” he explained. “I may still have been able to reach an answer, but by practicing these three techniques I definitely improved my communication skills.”

During his quest, Bud came across another book which he credits as “life-changing for every auditor”: ‘Changing Minds in Detail’ by David Straker.

“David Straker also has an excellent website that allows you to search a wide variety of topics (, including techniques and great examples of body language, questioning, and listening,” added Bud. “These techniques will help you hone your skills to become a more effective auditor.”

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