Updated: Feb 19
There is often tension between authenticity and tactfulness.
There are many reasons in business that cause people to perceive that it’s best to be tactful. You don’t want to upset the boss or your customers. You’re afraid of appearing too aggressive or unpleasant.
But tactfulness sometimes stands in the way of being authentic.
Authentic people don’t shift their opinion depending on who is asking the questions. They don’t pretend to be someone else. They don’t hem and haw.
You can be both authentic and respectful.
You can be both authentic and honest, helpful, reliable and professional.
One of the problems with being too tactful is that over time, people learn not to fully trust you. It’s hard to know what you truly believe or whether you actually mean what you are saying.
Think about that the next time you are tempted to be tactful.