Etiquette Intermediate: Sample Lesson

Tact

What is tact?  Tact is the ability to deal with others without offending them.  So as we improve our ability to be more “tactful” in different situations, we will enjoy our relationships with others more fully.  Now let me make something very clear: tact is not lying.  It is not being deceitful in any way.  It is simply the ability to see the positive in situations, in people, instead of focusing on the negative.  Let me give you an example.  Let’s say your mom makes dinner and is excited for her family to try a new casserole dish.  Everyone sits down at the dinner table and proceeds to try the casserole, but it’s terrible.  What do you do?  What do you say?  You don’t want to hurt mom’s feelings.  She obviously is trying hard to find new things that her family will like.  It takes time to go to the grocery store, buy the food, come home and prepare it, clean up the kitchen and then hope that everyone enjoys this new dish.  Being tactful in this situation is to come up with something you can say to make your mom know how much you appreciate the effort she has put into this dinner, regardless of how you feel about the casserole.  A suggestion might be, “Wow Mom, you really went to a lot of trouble to make this a special meal.  I appreciate all you do for our family and for always trying to find new things we will like.”  Now do you think Mom will really care if you don’t like the casserole?  I doubt it.  She will feel appreciated and loved and that’s what she really wants.  Try it.  I’ll see you next time.  

Activity
Give directions to the class that they have 5 minutes to draw a portrait of themselves using crayons.  5 minutes only.  Then, one at a time, allow the kids to come up front and show their portrait to the rest of the class.  Instruct the class that their job is to find things that they can compliment the artist on and give their compliments.  What do they like about the photo?  Only positive remarks are allowed.  This is tact, not lying but looking for the positive.