Tact is the ability to say the truth without hurting anyone’s feelings or without being offensive to others. Being tactful include, intelligence, respect, compassion, diplomacy, thoughtfulness, discretion, honesty.
Being tactful doesnt mean you need to hide your feelings or the truth. It only means that you need to be sensitive to those people involved, and not make any hurtful comments.
1. Start with a positive comment.
You might be in a situation that you need to give some negative feedback. It could be a friend or a co-worker. Use tact in communicating to them. Say a positive comment before you give the negative news. Then it wont hurt them as they’ll think you care and you only telling them what you feel about the situation. For example if you see the co-worker doing it’s best but still struggling to finish the project you might say: you doing well but might would be good idea if you let me help you..
2. Think before you speak.
In any situation is always wise taking a moment and collecting your thoughts before you speaking. You might disagree with your boss and you feel that immediate reaction to oppose what they saying. Best thing is don’t say anything straight way, instead wait until you thought carefully and then represent your ideas. Also when you pause to think about the problem that occurs you better formulate your thoughts.
Also when you’re ready to express your feelings of excitement notice the people around you. For example you might getting married soon and you can’t wait to tell your mates how excited you feel. Take a look who is there. It might be one that just come through a hurtful divorce.
3. Divert negative comments.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation when people are gossiping about others. They could be making fun of someone is not there in that moment, or just making nasty comments about somebody. Be gentle and tactful, say something positive. Without confronting anyone correct them and tell them that is not the truth. Tell the person you’re really not interested or if you can’t do anything else get out of that situation.
4. Choose the right time and the right words.
If you need to say something you need to wait for the right moment to say it. Firstly that person might be busy or engaged with something more important so waiting for right time is crucial. Also choose your words carefully as it makes a difference the way you say something. For instance if you think you want to finish working for your current company instead of saying I am too smart to work with these people you can say I dont fit so well in this company.
5. Be a great listener.
Listen actively when someone is talking to you. Try to understand what this person is going through. Dont rush to give them your magic solution or your great judgement. Listen to find out their feelings behind their words. Only when they finish give them your honest opinion.
6. Consider others opinions and their point of view.
When you communicating with people bare in mind who these people are. Consider the differences they may have about the situation. Take a look from their point of view. Be discreet and respectful. Also keep in mind and don’t reveal to much personal information to people you don’t know very well. Keep your cool even when you feel angry and be kind and sincere. Show empathy for others. Assume the best.
As Newton says: tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.
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