Definition of tact
1: a keen sense of what to do or say to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense
2: sensitive mental aesthetic (visual) perception
According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, there are 2 definitions for the word “tact”. In this case, we’ll be using the first one. Being tactful means being considerate towards others’ feelings and most importantly being careful with what you say.
Practicing tact is quintessential in any workplace regardless of company culture. This ensures you maintain the good working relationship you have built with your colleagues and avoid offending any one. It may have been meant as a joke, which may be fine in a social setting, but it is important to remain professional with regards to a colleague.
Did You Know?
This word came to English directly from French (a Latin-based language), where it can also mean simply “sense of touch”. Dealing with difficult situations involving other people can require the kind of extreme sensitivity that our fingertips possess. As Lincoln once said, “Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves”, which doesn’t usually come naturally. Someone tactful can soothe the feelings of the most difficult people; a tactless person will generally make a bad situation worse.
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