Art can be defined based on one's perspective, it can be a mastery of a talent that we can view as something that can touch the emotions and senses of others. It is usually associated with visual, auditory and literary matters but I guess it is not bad for me to think that it can also pertains on how we speak and how we deliver the message that we want to convey. This is the reason why I made the title to this article as "The Art of Being Outspoken". From the word "outspoken" itself, one thing that will probably pop out of your mind is being "tactless". We have that connotation that these two particular ways of expressing our opinions are the same, but in fact it's definitely not. If we will have one issue and then we'll differentiate how will it be delivered by a tactless person and an outspoken one, how would it be?
In a team meeting where a suggestion was raised by a colleague:
The Tactless One will shoot the bullet right away and will hoist the downside of the idea even before the full statement by the colleague has been laid down. It is usually accompanied with a not very pleasing gestures such as making faces and a smirk The statement to reject the idea would be like this " I think the idea is not feasible at all because of our situation right now. That's a waste of time if we'll try it, well that's my opinion. The best thing to do here is blah blah blah blah"......endless comment. Then it will turn out that he/she is the person of the hour, then the credit will be his/hers alone.
On the other hand, what would an outspoken person do? He/She will listen wholeheartedly and will weigh the suggestion on his/her mind thoroughly. It will not cost that much to think while listening and waiting for the colleague to finish the piece. After which, if the proposal is not that feasible at all then here's what will be said, "The idea is okay, I got your point and your intention. But with the resources that we have right now and the complexity of the situation, I think we will have a hard time to implement it even though it's good. We have to come up with another solution that is viable in our condition as of the moment. How about doing this, blah blah blah blah...., that's my opinion,but it's all up to all of your judgments".
Being tactless is all about being inconsiderate and indiscreet. It reveals lack of perceptiveness, judgment or finesse on a given scenario. It usually provides a negative impression to all those people whom the statement is being relayed upon. It can hit directly the feelings of others because of the insensitive way of opposing a person or expressing a comment towards a thought or situation. Being outspoken is characterized by expressing one's self freely, insistently and directly but with the sense of being considerate on how will the message affect the mood of the receiver and the people who will hear it.
In our daily lives, we often meet so many people and so many approaches in speaking. I can't really say that a tactless person has an unlikeable personality as a whole, but remember the way we speak just reflects the way we think and treat others. We can't expect that everyone will accept our own ways of expressing, we have to admit that. I, too is having a very difficult time in weighing the things that should and shouldn't be said. That usually happens when the person I am conversing with is also having difficulty in grasping my message. Nonetheless, this is life! we need to be careful with the way we speak, command, request and criticize others (though it's really hard!). The use of words like kindly, a gentle reminder and please will definitely make a difference. Your tone and the use of some humors will also help enlighten the mood of the conversation. To be an outspoken person is a skill that we need to learn in order to live in a conflict-free environment. Always remember that respect begets respect.
The main point in here is the golden rule, "Do not do to others what you don't want others to do unto you" ain't that simple? Be outspoken when there's a strong need for you to speak your mind for the welfare of the majority and not to showcase yourself and your idea.
Now check it with yourself, are you practicing the art of being outspoken? or the art of being tactless?