101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work: Be Tactful

At times it may be necessary for you to offer criticism, relate negative information, or simply disagree with others. Always do so in a tactful manner by considering the other person’s feelings and using professional language, discretion, and good judgment.

Realize the power of words and their impact on the listener. Choose words carefully and avoid negative and personal criticism; negative criticism often elicits defensive and angry behavior, which will only serve to make the situation worse. Make sure your comments are strictly about the work issue, never insult the person, be sarcastic, tell jokes at the expense of others, point fingers, unfairly shift blame, or make inappropriate remarks.

Treat coworkers, customers, and supervisors with respect. Do not rudely boss people around or make unwarranted demands. Make other people feel comfortable by respecting their rights and feelings. It is expected that you will be direct and straightforward when dealing with others, but remain sensitive to their needs. Be discreet.

The next time you are faced with an uncomfortable or difficult situation, think of the tactful way to handle it. Ask yourself these questions:

• How can I relay this information in a polite, respectful manner?
• How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of my criticism?
• Am I acting in a professional manner?
• What is the professional, tactful method of handling this situation?
• Is my tone free of sarcasm, condescension, blame, and anger?
• Are my words professional?
• Have I considered the impact of my words and behavior?

101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323 Prepared for jhale@cba.ua.edu, Joanne Hale © 2011 Safari Books Online, LLC. This download file is made available for personal use only and is subject to the Terms of Service. Any other use requires prior written consent from the copyright owner. Unauthorized use, reproduction and/or distribution are strictly prohibited and violate applicable laws. All rights reserved.

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