How to Be Direct Without Being Insensitive

These days, it can be a real challenge to be direct in the workplace – or in any other situation – without crossing the line. Political correctness is at an all-time high, and it seems as though you’re walking on eggshells just to make sure that you don’t say anything that might be considered offensive. Not only that, many people can be highly sensitive and may take an otherwise innocently delivered comment in the wrong way.

Yet being direct is not only appreciated in the workplace, it’s also necessary. Knowing how to be straight-forward without stepping on people’s toes and making a situation an awkward one takes a little charisma and know-how.

Here are a few ways that you can be direct at work without crossing the line.

Be Professional

First and foremost, maintain professionalism at all times when you’re speaking to anyone in the workplace. Even if you feel uncomfortable in a particular situation, being professional is critical. There’s no excuse to be inconsiderate just because you’re not in a position that you want to be in. You’ll come out on the other end in a better position if you remember to remain professional. A career and life coach can help you hone in on this skill.

Be Clear Yet Neutral

There’s no room for taking a defensive stance in a discussion at work. Instead, you’d fare much better if you remain in a neutral position while ensuring that the message you deliver is clear and concise. Maintaining this position will more likely result in a response from the other party that is not defensive. Done right, communicating in a clear yet neutral manner can make the other person feel more comfortable and interact with you in a more positive light.

Don’t Make Assumptions about the Awareness of How Others Make People Feel

The person who you are interacting with might sound condescending and may not be communicating in a way that you find particularly professional or considerate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are trying to offend you or others. Instead, they might be completely oblivious to this fact. For this reason, it’s important that you don’t assume that the person is trying to be a jerk, but might not even be aware of how they’re making other people feel.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

It’s helpful to try to understand where the other person you’re communicating with is coming from when they’re speaking. Deal with them as if you are both trying to achieve the same goals, and try not to put too much emphasis on what bothers you.  Keep these tips in mind to help you be direct at work without coming across as inconsiderate.