How to Communicate With Tact & Professionalism

by Mika Lo; Updated September 26, 2017
Teamwork between two young female clerk at desk.

Successfully navigating through the business world requires a commitment to excellence and effective communication skills. Learning how to express your views with tact and professionalism can help you negotiate deals and solve problems. Although adjusting to business communication can be difficult, it’s possible with a consistent effort and willingness to adapt your style to meet important objectives.

Step 1

Determine your objective before diving into communication. Tactful communication requires you to understand your message before attempting to express it to others. Establishing your overall goals helps ensure your communication is concise and appropriate. Avoid veering into side conversations and adding non-essential information. Preparing also helps alleviate nervousness and leads to greater focus when stating your views.

Step 2

Consider your relationship to the audience. This helps you create messages that won’t be considered offensive or disrespectful. Keep your professional status in mind whether communicating with clients, subordinates or superiors. Always anticipate audience reaction to your message before making statements or sending written correspondence. Consider asking for a second opinion from a trusted colleague before delivering messages to check the overall tone. This helps ensure your message can’t be mistaken as being arrogant or condescending.

Step 3

Refrain from hurling insults or sinking to juvenile behavior. Although it can seem like second nature to “fight fire with fire,” resorting to these tactics can have negative consequences. Understand that your colleagues and clients are continually assessing your actions. Communicating with tact and professionalism requires you to rise above petty name-calling even when you feel provoked to do so.

Step 4

Use appropriate terminology to demonstrate your professionalism and competence. Although your speech shouldn’t sound robotic or overly technical, neither should it be filled with slang or improper grammar. This applies even when you’re familiar with your audience. Keeping your business relationship separate from personal dealings is essential to maintaining a professional demeanor.

Step 5

Stay in control of your body language. Your audience will evaluate your message and intentions based on your posture and appearance as well as your actual word choice. Even the most tactfully written statement can repel an audience if you deliver it with a scowl. This applies even when your audience can’t see you; your attitude can be recognized through your tone of voice over the phone.

Tips

  • Practicing speeches in front of a full-length mirror can help you refine your delivery skills.

Warnings

  • Avoid sending off emails before proofreading them for spelling accuracy and tone.

About the Author

Mika Lo has been producing online content since 2005. The majority of her work has been published in areas such as parenting, lifestyle and health. Lo has also assisted with the development of community and hospital-based patient education programs, including creative discharge classes for new mothers and assisting underprivileged patients with medication assistance and information.

Photo Credits

  • Frizzantine/iStock/Getty Images