115 – Charm, Wit & Tact

Never fall for the motto of the Georgian rhetoric psychopath, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” It’s why you say it.

Tact and charm begin with genuine live in your heart. Without that, all other advice on charm and tactfulness will only make one come across as a deceitful snake. However, once you have love…

Some things are obvious, evident. Those are things you should never say because, well, they “go without saying”. If you state the obvious, people will think something is wrong with you, either that you are hiding something or don’t know about life or are just trying to flatter.

Other things must be said. Especially in English, we communicate with the assumption that we all expect new ideas. If one person knows what another person mans to say, there is no point in conversation because there would be no progress, whether in exchange of ideas, technology, business growth, or anything else worth discussing. When you do indeed need to communicate an idea, provide enough detail that people know what you mean. For example, don’t overuse pronouns to a point where the listener doesn’t know where the pronouns point to. My mother would often say, in many occasion, “I know that you know what you are talking about, but I haven’t a clue. Start over, but don’t begin with the word ‘they’.”

There is a time to presume what is evidently self-evident and a time to state the idea that no one considered; know the difference. This is a knowledge you will never stop learning.

You can say almost anything if you have a twinkle in your eye and a sheepishly childish grin in your face. When wrong or in those times you accidentally step on toes, be humble. When you cause an injury, own it. When you don’t, be the Good Samaritan who helps someone else’s victim.

When you must confront someone, twinkle, grin, and be the large, gentle giant in charge. If people love your results, and you break neither skin, bones, nor feelings, it won’t matter which silly protocols you may have to break. You don’t even need to smile if you have enough love.

1 Corinthians 13