So this post has proved a little more difficult than anticipated. I am about 20 hours behind in writing for that reason.
I don’t know exactly how far back to go.
My mom is from Southeastern Tennessee. The South is a culture of honor and it is deeply rooted in respect for elders and in manners. Obviously, this means these were values that were promoted by my parents throughout my childhood. But there is more than etiquette than respect and manners. It is easier to practice etiquette when these conditions pre-exist, but they are not etiquette themselves.
Tact is defined as a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations. But is tact etiquette?
The answer is no. Etiquette is not just about acting with tact, but in doing something else.
It is acting with respect, manners, and tact in a strategy that is specifically tailored to or expected by the unique audience at hand.
So how do you know the audience’s motivations, needs, wants, etc, as well as how “they” expect you to act. . .
That will be Part I. . .