"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." ~ Winston Churchill, among his alcoholic ramblings (just kidding, that's not true).

    Exceptional application of tact to a situation is quite nearly magic. The phrasing of your incantation could abruptly devolve a conversation to fisticuffs, or it could convince the other person to give you the shirt off their back, and be glad for the opportunity. Okay, that might be a bit much, but tact can, and often does, make all the difference when it comes to getting what you're aiming for. You'll reduce the defensiveness of others, improve the likelihood of them considering your ideas, and increase the chances of people going out of their way to help you.

    When you're having a conversation (written or verbal), aside from being kind and ensuring your tone is appropriate, there are a few things that can help you shift conversations in a positive direction, and help you and your team be as

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    How much better would your day be if other people just wanted to do all kinds of nice things for you? If Becky up at the front desk fast tracked your meeting requests? If your employees would work just a little bit harder to meet that deadline? If that real piece of garbage on your favorite online forum could refrain from starting a flame war for just one day? Well I have good news! I have some magic to help you out.

    Having a good, positive tone to your communication (especially your writing, such as I previously wrote about here) is a great start to successfully convincing others that you’re super awesome, but you can also do a few additional and relatively simple things to really get them moving in your direction. While the situations below are described as if they’re all occurring in real time, the principles are the same whether you’re communicating in person or through text.

    The first really simple thing I’d suggest is thanking someone, even if they’re just doing their

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    Does the phrasing of a sentence really matter? As long as the meaning is clear, it should be fine, right? No. If you think that, you are wrong. Or, should I say, that’s not generally the case? Even if subconsciously, we all formulate opinions about a writer on any number of things, just like we do with a human being who’s standing right in front of us. In the opinion of this humble and unbelievably talented human, one of the most important is tone.

    When you’re talking with someone out loud, you have plenty of things at your disposal that you lose when you transition to written communication. One of the most important is your tone of voice. Comedians and psychologists alike will tell you it’s just as much how you say something as what you say.

    If you’re talking to a cute li’l baby, you can say pretty much anything you want as long as you say it in that calm and soothing tone that babies like. Conversely, if you’re looking in my direction and screaming in a deep baritone with

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