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The person who is direct might not open the email until Thursday, the day before the meeting. Once you have written a header or the attention grabber, go ahead and use brief bullet points inside the body of the email, reiterating the first point that the meeting is canceled. The second point could be the proposed new date or dates and the third bullet point should be a call to action for them to let you know which date is preferred or if either date is unavailable for them. The bottom line is if you want direct people to actually read what you write, remember that less is more. The less time it takes a direct person to read your correspondence, the more likely they are to read it. So get to the point, be brief, brilliant, clear and accurate and then be gone.


Let’s move now to the second personality style, writing to the analytical person. Use all of the rules I just listed for the direct person plus a few more. So far you have grabbed the attention of your reader with your header or subject line and now you are moving into the body of the email. Being linear and sequential is extremely important here. Instead of just bullet points, think “Outline Format”:

I. Roman Numeral I

A. Point A
B. Point B

1. Subpoint 1

a) Subpoint 1a
b) Subpoint 1b

Remember even though this is an informal email, when addressing the analytical person this is not the time to be cutesy or random so we don’t want to address them in our style. What we do want to do is address them in their style. DO progress in a logical, linear manner. DON’T jump around or mix your metaphors. For example, do give the logical reasons why the meeting for Friday has been canceled, do apologize for the inconvenience this may cause the analytical person, especially the inconvenience on their time. Don’t go into personal details as to your level of frustration or your feelings about the facts. Remember analyzers respond best to logic and reason not feelings and emotions, so do address the facts. The best way to remember this is to think of the TV personality Joe Friday from the show Dragnet. He was famous for this saying, “just the facts mam, just the facts”. It’s a good way to remain analytical even if this isn’t your dominant style.

Social Extrovert

All right, we have talked about the do’s and don’ts of informal writing when writing to people who are direct as well as writing to people who are more analytical. Let’s move now to the third style, social extroverts. When it comes to writing to social extroverts, generally speaking, they are . . . . . generally speaking! They tend to be more auditory in their communication style and often times would prefer to “hear-it” or “see-it” rather than “read-it”. If you are getting frustrated because this type of personality is either calling you on the phone or wanting to meet in person to “discuss” anything you write them, remember social extroverts gain more understanding when they can picture, see or have an audible conversation regarding what you are talking about. If possible, copy/paste graphics or pictures into the email to make your point or send a spoken email or voice mail. If these aren’t options for you, then keep the rules as already listed beginning with your subject line as your attention getter, then format the email in a linear, logical manner and then for the social extrovert emphasize your text by using one or more of the following formats such as bold, italics or highlight. I realize that bolding a document, some letters or some words, italicizing something or even going back through your email and highlighting something takes a little extra effort on your part.

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