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You could have created a real opportunity, if you had better tact. The experience could have made a difference, if you had better taste. If you combined Taste and Tact, then you can change anything for the better.

Tact, noun. a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense

Taste, verb. to perceive or recognize in order to establish a preference.

It has been my experience that taste and tact are the two most important traits to improve in order to create lasting value in life. This holds true for personal relationships with friends and family as well professional relationships with colleagues and customers.

Fine tuning your taste to a point where others recognize your perceptions and actually begin to adopt them as their own creates an enormous amount of value. Steve Jobs cared more about taste than almost anything else worked on. Here he talks about Microsoft’s lack of taste.

As right as Steve Jobs may be on the lack of taste at Microsoft, he comes off as arrogant and rude because he lacked tact in delivering the message.

Fine tuning tuning your tact to be able to disagree in a manner that allows a relationship to be strengthened and not strained creates immediate and future opportunities. The US Marines teach tact as a key leadership trait.

As an entrepreneur, sales rep, or corporate executive, we should all recognize that culture and original ideas both flourish when taste and tact are abundant. Training tact begins with empathy. Training taste begins with understanding preference.