Celeste Owens

Celeste Owens

A motivational speaker and licensed psychologist with a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.


Tact and tactics

Q: Are successful people blunt by nature? In recent weeks, retired NFL star John Riggins has been scathingly critical of his former team, the Washington Redskins. Is his take-no-prisoners rhetoric typical for achievers? Do the tactful accomplish more?

Succeeding on your own terms requires truthfulness. A case in point is Dr. Phil McGraw. When he made his debut on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1998, some disliked his brand of truthfulness -- believing it to be too harsh. Oprah reported receiving many letters requesting his removal from the lineup. Despite the rocky start, he developed a fan base and the rest is history.

John Riggins is pronouncing his version of the truth about his former NFL team. His supporters admire his ferocity. They praise him for being the voice for the common man and standing up for what he believes. On the other hand, his opponents question his tactics and motives.

One thing for sure: Riggins is passionate about his cause -- the achievers usually are. The truth can hurt but hurting others should never be the intent of the messenger. Even as one champions a cause, tact should be the rule rather than the exception.

A wise supervisor warned me about burning bridges: "You never know when you might need that person or organization again." That bit of wisdom has contributed to my success. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, I keep the bridge intact, knowing full well I may never cross that way again.

By Celeste Owens  |  November 16, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  | Category:  tactless or truth-tellers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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