Presence of mind to be tactful

Embarrassing situations at the workplace can be a reason for good humor or can have adverse implications on professional relationships. Hence dealing with them in right manner is crucial.

Imagine during an important office presentation calling one’s male boss madam or forgetting what one has to say further. Embarrassing situations like these incorporate organizations can create a degree of discomfort between co-workers or lead to an unpleasant atmosphere at the workplace or make for an inadvertently funny scene. As a result before speaking or doing something at the workplace one must exercise a fair amount of caution. While some incidents can be laughed off and forgotten there are others that can upset a balanced work equation. When dealing with seniors the situation needs to be handled with even more care.

Freudian slips

Embarrassing incidents are not uncommon at the workplace. Work pressure and related tensions make one prone to mistakes. Tact lies in either avoiding it or dealing with it. Software professional says X was asked to lead a meeting where many managers were attending. X was nervous and not at all comfortable. X thought of making an excuse to skip the meeting but changed his mind and went ahead with it thus avoiding any kind of embarrassment. At times unintentional humor especially with female colleagues can create awkward moments an so one must refrain from it.

Workplace Discomfiture

Dealing with the foot-in-mouth syndrome at the workplace is a necessary trait in professional life. Here’s how to go about it:

Think before you speak: While it certainly pays to prepare for important meetings and presentations so as to avoid goof ups even while generally interacting with co-workers on must be careful of what one speaks. The best way to deal with sticky situation is to come up with as witty answer.

Don’t get personal: Most embarrassing situations arise when official conversations start getting personal. One must desist from commenting on others personal lives physical attributes etc wile at work.

Once written twice shy: While oral blunders can be instantly corrected, written errors are permanent. Hence it is a good idea to get one’s written work (like letters e-mails) proofread by others. If written mistakes go unnoticed they can have major negative implications. A corrected communication with an apology must be immediately sent in case any slip up in the earlier en ahs been come across.

Maintain one’s dignity: On some occasions presence of mind helps on to find a way out of awkward situations. One particular day a senior can reprimand the employee for some undone work in front of other colleagues. It will be embarrassing no doubt. But the employee chose to remain silent rather than incense him further it worked and he later apologized.

Forging friendly ties at the workplace is fine but getting over friendly errors can also alter the meaning of what one wants to say, thus leading to confusion. Non verbal communications too needs to be checked. There are some people with quirky habits who put others in spot. For example some wink an eye as they smile or greet and this can not only cause embarrassment but also misunderstanding.

In a highly charged environment like the workplace human errors and slip ups do occur at times leaving one red faced. But tact lies in dealing with it and moving on without much effort. This can be done by getting to know one’s colleagues better by bonding with them. A good presence of mind, a fair amount of wit and intelligence can help one navigate through tricky situations.

  • Hi

    It is a nice article indeed. But there are a few grammatical errors, if corrected, it will be good.


  • Sher Ali

    Thank you for this article, I have learned a valuable lesson from it. Please continue to publish such nice things.

  • olive

    really a good article..

  • Benn Chin

    Nice article with some constructive comments.
    Especially the one highlighted by Mr Mahesh.
    How about sharing with us where the grammatical errors are.