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Tact: A Keen Sense Of Relationship Awareness

Tact is the ability to avoid giving offense and use sensitivity in dealing with others or in difficult situations – in essence being considerate of others’ feelings and reactions. 

Using tact taps into our Emotional Intelligence (EI) in that we intuitively understand, and have a keen sense of awareness, of how and what to say (or do) in certain situations. To build, grow and maintain strong relationships with others means being able to read a situation quickly, consider and understand others’ viewpoints, and elicit your response with tact and diplomacy. 

While being tactful comes naturally for some people, for others this is not necessarily easy. How to practice? 

  • Be a solid, empathetic and active listener.
  • Don’t interrupt; let others complete their thoughts.
  • Use “I statements” versus “You/You’re statements”.
  • Keep your emotions in check.
  • Be patient with and respectful of how others are presenting their viewpoints.
  • Use the adage of “Think before you speak” – take a pause and mindfully choose your response.
  • Be aware of your non-verbal responses as well as others’ body language.

Utilizing tact can help move forward professional and personal relationships in a positive light; possessing tactfulness shows others that you are thoughtful of their feelings and care about your relationship with them. Tact can be keenly beneficial all-around.