What Your Email Style Says About Your Personality
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As you move through the world, you tend to follow one of four general patterns. The idea of different personality types is old, observed as long ago as the ancient Greeks, who categorized people's personalities into four humors. In the last century, various personality theories emerged to describe patterns of thought, feeling and behavior. Different systems identify different numbers of personality traits.
You can see natural differences in personality when you interact with people. Some of the people you know are bubbly and social. Others are soft-spoken and quiet. Some jump into action, while others are systematic thinkers.
In the system that I developed, called "energy profiling," the four main ways that people move through life are the four energy types. As I've worked with thousands of clients over the past 25 years, I've observed these four types of behavior. I've seen that you show your energy type in everything you do: the way you talk, make decisions and even in the way you email.
Let's look at the email habits of all four. Which describes you best?
Type 1: The animated emailer
Type 1 energy is light and spontaneous. People who express this energy are often fun and bring natural optimism everywhere they go.
Their email style tends to be quick and fun. Of all four types, they love emojis best and tend to use a lot of exclamation points -- anything to add animation. Because of their random energy, they may respond at odd hours.
If this describes you, embrace your ability to bring positivity to every interaction. Just because others are more serious about email doesn't mean you need to be! The email app Boomerang surveyed response rates for over 300,000 emails and found that a grateful closing is most likely to get you a response.
What to watch out for: If certain emails are time-sensitive, set a reminder or delegate. Otherwise, your more random nature may not follow through.
Type 2: The detailed writer
Type 2 energy is fluid and connected. People with this energy tend to be soft-spoken. They have a gift for making things smoother and more comfortable for others.
Their email style tends to be detailed. Of the four types, they can be the lengthiest, adding plans, feelings or explanations. They note details in emails sent to them and may take time to respond. Because of their natural sensitivity, they may spend more time considering how their message will be received.
If this describes you, hone in on your gift for planning. The email client MailChimp has found that the optimal time of day to send email is between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in your recipient's time zone. Use your gift of planning ahead to email when you're most likely to get a response.
What to watch out for: You naturally soften what you say, but don't soften your emails to the point of minimizing your opinions.
Type 3: The speedy messenger
Type 3 energy is active and passionate. People who express this energy move into action quickly, and often move other people into action, too.
Their email style tends to be practical and to the point. Of the four types, they are most likely to miss details. Their responses are quick. Because their energy is reactive, their emails can come one after another, in multiple short emails, rather than one long one. With their passionate energy, they may use exclamation points or caps to get their point across.
If this describes you, you have strong energy and communicating that in email can work to your advantage. AWeber has tracked power words that make emails more effective, which include simple words like now, you/your and new.
What to watch out for: Be patient with other people's response times. Your speed is a gift, but not everyone matches it. Plus, their pace can mean they catch details that you miss!
Type 4: The clear communicator
Type four energy is bold and precise. People who express this energy prioritize clarity. They see the big picture and how to improve it.
Their email style tends to be concise. No words wasted. Of all four types, they are most likely to hear that they are too critical or blunt. So, some may try to soften their emails, while others only write what is necessary, even if it's only one word. If an email to them does not include a definite question, they may not respond at all.
If this describes you, honor your ability to improve things. Optimization tools are your friend, so consider using Advance Marketing Institute's Headline Analyzer to improve the impact of your email subject lines.
What to look out for: You have a tendency for all-or-nothing thinking. If there are extremes in your email habits or interactions, focus on creating more balance.
So, you know your email style -- now what?
Yes, it's fun to know how you email. But, knowing who you really are can change your life.
As entrepreneurs, the most powerful way to connect with others is to be our true and best selves. For example, if you're Type 2, you may judge yourself as too quiet. But, embrace your natural softness and you'll build powerful one-on-one connections that you wouldn't have otherwise. Every energy type has a balance between strengths and challenges.
When you know who you are, you can use your tendencies to your advantage -- in your inbox and your life.