Most of my writing about how to use the DISC Model to communicate more effectively has been focused on verbal communications. While the tips still apply to written communication, I haven't written specifically about how to apply the model in emails and letters.
I might expand this thought further in later posts, but, for now, I thought I would share a quick tip to improve the odds that people actually read and take action on your written correspondence.
This tip is pretty simple and straightforward:
Put the main points and conclusions in bullet point or really short paragraph form at the top of the email and all supporting information below it.
Here's my thinking on this tip.
Outgoing, fast-paced people don't usually want to wade through the details to get to the conclusion. They will likely skim your email and then miss or misunderstand your point if you bury it towards the end.
Reserved, slower-paced people will probably want the supporting information. And, even they will probably skim the bullets first to decide if reading the details is worth their time.
Do your reader a favor, get to the point and then support it. Don't build a case and then conclude.
(So, what if you need to build a case before you give a conclusion? If that's your situation, I would question whether email was the best way to do that particular communication.)
Kim Clarke says
I certainly appreciate the wisdom in this article. It’s funny observing my behaviour. I skim emails and prefer these to be short and to the point. When I am writing an email I either am too brief or add too much “fluff” which buries my main message.