Recently someone sent a family member a scathing message about an issue about which the two disagree. The writer holds very strong opinions, a right that we all have, and I have no argument with that. However, the message was all but lost because of the unkind and tactless way in which it was expressed. The writer's influence on the family member was not enhanced, but rather negated. That's what happens when we don't think about the tone, as well as the meaning, of our words.
It is unfortunate that the blunt and unkind words this writer chose to use got so far in the way of the message.
I learned early in teaching that tone and tact are everything when dealing with both students, parents, and even other teachers. It is far better to say "Your child was untruthful to me today" rather than to say "I caught your child lying today." That's just one example.
I still have much to learn about this subject. But it's critical for all of us to continue on the curve.