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The Peril of Tactlessness: Prigozhin's Fatal Trust in Putin and similarity in the Corporate World

In the world of politics and international relations, a complex web of alliances and loyalties often defines the course of events. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a name that came to the forefront due to his association with Russia's Vladimir Putin, serves as a compelling case study of the dangers of tactlessness and unwavering trust.

As we analyze his journey and ultimate demise, it becomes apparent that his low tactfulness, a trait measured by the IdentI3 profiling, played a significant role in his downfall.

Understanding Tactfulness and Trust

IDENTI3 profiling (, a tool that assesses an individual's traits, offers a unique perspective into Prigozhin's character. People low in tactfulness tend to be high in trust. This means they are more likely to take people at their word, believe in the goodness of others, and overlook signs of betrayal or deceit. Such individuals may also struggle to navigate social situations with subtlety and nuance.

Sample of an IDENTI3 graph with Tactfulness trait highlighted

Prigozhin's bold and impulsive nature only magnified his lack of tactfulness. He was known for swiftly taking action, whether it was sending troops into Ukraine or retracting them just short of Moscow, a move that would ultimately be perceived as betrayal by Putin.

A Fateful Betrayal

Prigozhin's decision to withdraw his troops from Ukraine was a pivotal moment in his relationship with Putin. While he might have perceived it as an expression of his dissatisfaction, Putin saw it as a direct challenge to his authority. This was a critical juncture where Prigozhin's low tactfulness came into play. He remained loyal to Putin, convinced that he had done nothing wrong.

Sample of an IDENTI3 graph with Tactfulness trait highlighted

This unwavering trust in Putin, despite the apparent betrayal, was a fatal blind spot. The world watched as tensions escalated, and it became increasingly evident that Putin would not tolerate dissent. Prigozhin, however, failed to read the signs or perhaps chose not to, a characteristic often associated with low tactfulness.

The Tragic End

On August 23, 2023, just two months after the rebellion, tragedy struck. Yevgeny Prigozhin, along with nine others, perished in a business jet crash in Tver Oblast, north of Moscow. While the exact circumstances surrounding the crash remain shrouded in mystery, it's impossible to ignore the timing and the underlying political tensions.

Prigozhin's demise serves as a stark reminder of the perils of low tactfulness, especially in the high-stakes world of politics and power dynamics. His inability to discern the consequences of his actions, coupled with an unyielding trust in Putin, ultimately sealed his fate.

What are the manifestations of low tactfulness in a corporate environment?

Understanding and addressing low tactfulness in the workplace is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive office environment.

Certainly, here's an example of how blunt remarks to a supervisor can create a challenging situation in the workplace:


Imagine a team meeting at a marketing agency where Sarah, a team member, has a blind spot of being low in tactfulness. The team is discussing a recent marketing campaign that hasn't been performing well. The supervisor, Mr. Anderson, is leading the discussion.

During the meeting, Sarah interrupts Mr. Anderson, saying, "This campaign is a disaster, and I don't know why we're wasting our time on it. It's like throwing money down the drain."


  • Mr. Anderson feels publicly undermined and frustrated by Sarah's lack of respect.

  • Other team members are uncomfortable and shocked by Sarah's bluntness.

  • Sarah's comment creates tension, making it challenging for the team to have a constructive discussion.

Later in the meeting, Mr. Anderson suggests exploring alternative marketing strategies to salvage the campaign. Sarah responds, "That's a terrible idea, and I can't believe you're even considering it. We need a whole new team to fix this mess."


  • Mr. Anderson feels disrespected and undermined once again.

  • Other team members start to view Sarah as disruptive and difficult to work with.

  • Colleagues hesitate to share their ideas or opinions, fearing Sarah's blunt criticism.


Unable to fire Sarah directly, Mr Anderson calls her to his office to understand all her responsibilities and slowly begins to find way to reduce Sarah's portfolio.

Mr Anderson started to excluded her from important meetings. During her quarterly appraisal, Mr Anderson gave her an unfavourable score.

With both her work responsibilities diminished, Sarah's esteem dropped and she slipped into depression slowly. She does not know what happened and left the job soon after.

The entire procedure appears to resemble the way Putin met with Prigozhin in Moscow after his mutiny in city of Rostov-on-Don, to identify the people who are loyal to Prigozhin and following that, orchestrated the assassination of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Tactfulness, the overlooked skillset

Many people may be unaware of what tactfulness is because it's a subtle and nuanced social skill that isn't always explicitly taught or discussed.

Here are several reasons why tactfulness may go unnoticed or underappreciated:

  1. Lack of Education: Tactfulness is not typically a subject taught in formal education. Schools tend to focus on academic subjects rather than interpersonal skills, leaving individuals to develop their own understanding of tactfulness.

  2. Tactfulness is a learned behavior: In my two decades of learning about this trait, I have observed that people who comes from bad (i.e Abusive parents) or complicated family structures (i.e Large extended family). Children grow up to be more aware of their surrounds and the intent of people. I am sure this is not a coincident.

  3. Limited Feedback: People may not receive direct feedback on their tactlessness unless they engage in particularly abrasive or offensive behavior. In most societies, people would rather leave you alone than to tell you that your behaviors are not acceptable. Therefore, many people might assume they are tactful when, in reality, they could improve their skills.

  4. Inattention to Communication Patterns: Many individuals focus more on what is said rather than how it is said. They may not pay close attention to the nuances of communication, missing the subtleties of tactful speech and behavior.

  5. Lack of psychometric tools that identify Tactlessness: Comprehensive psychometric tools designed to accurately identify and assess tactfulness are not readily accessible in many professional and educational settings. These tools, which are vital for evaluating an individual's ability to navigate delicate interpersonal situations with diplomacy and sensitivity, are not always readily available for several reasons.

In conclusion, tactfulness is an essential social skill that often operates in the background of our interactions. Its subtle nature and the lack of formal education on the topic can contribute to why many people are unaware of what it truly entails. However, as individuals become more conscious of the importance of effective and considerate communication, the appreciation for tactfulness is likely to grow.

The case of Yevgeny Prigozhin illustrates the intricate interplay between personality traits, political decisions, and personal loyalties. Low tactfulness, measured by #IDENTI3 profiling, left Prigozhin vulnerable to the manipulations and power plays of the political landscape. His trust in Putin, while admirable in its loyalty, proved to be his undoing when he failed to recognize the shifting tides of their relationship.

As we reflect on Prigozhin's tragic end, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of tactfulness and discernment, particularly in the world of politics. Yevgeny Prigozhin's story stands as a cautionary tale, a testament to the price one can pay for blind trust in the face of political treachery.

Are you a tactful or tactless person? Take the IDENTI3 test here to find out!

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