Write emails that get read

I bet this has happened to you. You get an email, you need to respond, you fire off a response that you think is benign. And at a computer across town or across the world, your recipient opens the mail – and completely misunderstands your message. Your phone rings and your client is on the phone asking you what in blazes did you mean in that email. The conversation progresses and soon you are both laughing. After just a few minutes of conversation the misunderstanding is cleared up – and your client relationship is saved.

Before you hit send on that next important email ask yourself a few questions about the person you are writing to uncover the Everything DiSC style inclination.

  • Are they outspoken or more reflective preferring to keep their thoughts to themselves? Do they act quickly, maybe even impulsively or do they tend to be more cautious and slower to act?
  • Are they skeptical and questioning of ideas and others? Or are they warmer and accepting?

By using the research validated Everything DiSC model, a likely picture of this person’s style begins to come in to view.

Everything DiSC People Reading

Understanding a person’s overall style provides a window in to how to communicate more effectively. Full disclosure: everyone is a blend of all styles but people typically exhibit the style inclination of either the “D”, “I”, “C”, or “S”.

For the D style, get to the point quickly. They value action and challenge. Appeal to their preference for results and quick actions. Don’t appear unconfident and don’t get personal. Highlight actions you want them to take. Only provide data and detail if asked to do so. Keep your communication short and to the point. They won’t be shy about expressing their doubts and challenging information they don’t agree with. Find a sample here.

For the i style, be personable. They value action and collaboration. Be enthusiastic and upbeat. Share something personal in order for them to connect with you. They respond well to warmth and openness. Emphasize possibilities and collaborative relationships where they can be social. Mention any mutual connections that you have. They respond well to visual communications and prefer more informal tones. Find a sample here.

For the S style, be reassuring. They value stability and collaboration. Appeal to their cautious nature by giving plenty of details that clearly show that you have carefully thought about matters that may concern them. They prefer environments where people are warm and cheerful. Ask them for their thoughts and avoid action-oriented language which they may view as aggression. Give them plenty of time to consider and process information before asking for a response. Find a sample here.

For the C style, be precise and accurate. They value accuracy and the status quo. Provide details and data to support what you say and make sure you are correct. They value restraint and formality. Present all options, no detail is too small to share. Don’t get personal with them. Stick to facts and be prepared for them to push back asking for proof as they can be highly skeptical. Give them time to process information before requesting a decision or that they take an action. Use bulleted lists and avoid making emotional claims not supported by facts. Find a sample here.

If you don’t know the person you are writing to you may be able to gain some cues to their preferred style by viewing their activity online. For example, a D may look for opportunities to showcase their independent thinking by writing or sharing articles on controversial topics. An i might post a lot of information about their social activities highlighting their wide network of friends and acquaintances. The S might post about fun professional or family group activities. The C is likely to have a profile on social media but to rarely post anything.


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