I have a saying I use on occasion; “They have the personality of a 2 X 4!” Which in essence means no personality at all.
The root of many e-mail misunderstandings stem from not using our extensive language to detail and explain our point of view. And to reflect the desired tone. Not showing any semblance of personality contributes to that as well.
Personality in E-mails?
Read your e-mail out-loud before you hit Send.
- Does your e-mail sound robotic or curt?
- Are you just blurting out what you want to say, or are you typing in such a way as to encourage a conversation?
- Could anyone have written those words in that way?
- Would those who know you, know you wrote that message?
Showing your personality in your e-mail communications requires you to work towards being more conversational.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of conversation: a conversational tone of voice.
- able or ready to converse; given to conversation.
Show your unique personality in your writing style! How do you do that? Simple — just type as if you were having an actual conversation with that specific person on the other side of the screen.
Why is this extra effort important? Because it lends to nurturing relationships and avoiding miscommunications.
For example, I have one contact that is extremely dry and terse in his e-mails. There are times I have assumed he was just having a bad day due to his tone. Everyone assumes, even if ever so slightly, when it comes to e-mail!
If you didn’t know him personally you may even assume he is a jerk. But he isn’t! He is the nicest guy you would want to meet. Every time I’ve met him for a meeting, I am pleasantly reminded about how nice and funny he is!! But you would never know that by virtue of his e-mail alone.
By not reflecting his personality in his e-mails, I think he is missing out on folks getting to know what a neat guy he is. Unfortunately, he risks turning off those who don’t know him well yet, or have not or may never meet him in person. That is why it is so important to hone your writing skills and reflect your personality in your online-only communications.
Go Ahead — Be You!
People prefer to communicate with those that seem friendly and approachable — don’t you? (Especially in and more importantly when it comes to Business E-mail!)
By being conversational and taking the time to add your personality to your e-mail communications, those who don’t know you will discover what a neat person you are too!