Say What You Need to Say or Suffer
By Christine Corelli
Oct 31, 2002 - 9:17:00 AM

Interacting with a person who is not honest and direct can be frustrating. Conversely, when dealing with a person who states their position honestly and with tact and diplomacy can be a pleasure. The reasons are obvious.

-- You don't have to guess what they're thinking because they know how to communicate their thoughts and openly express their feelings. The key to their success is their use of tact and diplomacy. Before they open their mouth to
speak, they ask themselves, "How would I feel if I were in this person's position?" Then, they choose their words carefully.

-- You know where you stand with them. You don't have to wonder about your relationship because if you ask them how they feel, they'll tell you. When asked, they will tactfully preface their position with a "verbal cushion" such as, "I understand how you feel about this matter." Then, they'll state their position and follow it with "How would you feel if we agreed to . . .." And last, they'll ASK for your cooperation - "How about if we agree that we will".

-- You can rely on them. Direct people are usually trustworthy and will do what they say they will do. Likewise, when they want to be able to rely on YOU, they'll say, "Can I rely on you to..."

--You won't get "lip-service." You won't have to wonder whether they are simply telling you what they think you want to hear. In business, this can be critical, especially if you are asking for ideas and opinions on decisions you have made or actions you are about to take.

-- You don't have to figure out whether they are angry or upset about something. They usually deal with their anger openly and want to resolve it quickly. When they don't know how to handle a difficult situation they wait until they think things through first before they approach you to address the matter.

-- You won't get a knife in your back. Direct people rarely talk about you behind your back. They talk to YOU about how they feel, and not others.

-- You can be assertive with them because they will be assertive with you. Best of all, they know how to do it without becoming aggressive. When they do feel strongly about an issue, they will use tact and diplomacy when communicating.

-- You can develop a valuable relationship with them. Direct people who use tact and diplomacy have a high affinity for themselves and others.

Think about it. In the workplace and in our personal lives. . .

Wouldn't life be easier if we were all direct with each other?
Wouldn't life be easier if people didn't beat around the bush?
Wouldn't life be easier if we all used tact and diplomacy when communicating?
Wouldn't life be easier if we could all be direct and assertive without being aggressive?
Wouldn't life be easier if we all asked for cooperation and never demand it?"
Wouldn't live be easier if we worked and lived with people whom we felt we could BE direct?
Wouldn't life be easier if the boss said, "Be straight with me. Tell me what you think?"
Wouldn't life be easier if we could all be direct and strive for WIN/WIN relationships?
Wouldn't life be easier if we lived in a perfect world? Well we don't. But I encourage you to practice being direct and assertive with tact and diplomacy.

Christine Corelli
Christine Corelli is a leadership expert who works with business executives, managers and supervisors using creativity and innovation to outdistance their current and future competitors and build winning teams who are customer focused and company loyal. Christine is the author of "Wake Up and Smell the Competition - They're Closer Than You Think", a business consultant and professional speaker, presenting keynotes and workshops at meetings and conventions around the world. For program information call 352-438-0261 e-mail or

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