Personalities and emails, two seemingly unrelated things, can be linked. In a highly virtual world, the latter reveals much about the former. They may be more obvious than you think. Look no further than your email habits to identify key changes you want to make to increase your daily productivity and success.
Do your emails constantly get misinterpreted or your inbox overflows with no relief in sight? These are just a few examples of how your personality can affect your ability to communicate effectively in a highly complex virtual environment. Let’s examine these personalities:
Do you constantly check for typos in emails? Do you want to email them to clarify? Or do sloppy writers make you smarter? The issue is not habitual if it is directed at one person. If you find yourself doing this with many, it’s time to look within and find better ways to spend your time.
You may write absurdly long emails in your quest for clarity. Others may find this vexing. If your email is longer than six lines, stop. Consider calling. Avoid “Reply All.” Reply All may seem useful in your quest for clarity, inclusion, or safety. One word: waste.
Do you write three versions of your email before sending it? Doubtful about how your email will be perceived? Re-read and modify it? Do you often ask others for feedback on emails you haven’t sent?
Coordination and harmony may consume your day and delay your response. It may even impair your decision-making ability. No unnecessary bottlenecks for your team or your daily operations. How is that affecting your work? Do you tend to respond slowly to your team because you lack information?
Look at how you solve problems. Seek feedback from peers. Can you improve your communication? Sadly, no one can read your mind. Sharing your thoughts is as important as having internal dialogue. It helps others understand your thoughts. It also explains your actions, which may surprise others.
Do you prioritize email efficiency? Do you often find your emails misinterpreted or misquoted? Are you direct when addressing your team? Do you think a nice email note (like “hope you are well”) is a waste of time?
Yes to two or more of the above questions indicates you may be too abrupt in your emails. Despite your desire for results, your emails may be too direct. This can demotivate your team, and your lack of focus on the “small stuff” may hinder your efforts.
Consider public communication as a quick fix for abruptness. What would an uninvolved third party think of your emails? Your emails may be misinterpreted if you appear too dry. Before you start writing your next email, make sure to check in with your recipient. You can be firm and kind at the same time. Add a note of support or appreciation at the end of your email.
Does email take over your day, dictating how you spend your time? Prevent being “the dictated” by scheduling email. Schedule it into your day and keep to a reasonable time frame. Consider how you can keep going and succeed. Create a system that simplifies your response.
It all comes down to daily habits. If you’re completely overwhelmed by email, watch out for hoarding tendencies. The first step to overcoming this overwhelm is to examine your communication style. Do you avoid face-to-face interactions? Would you rather send a long email than make a quick phone call?
It’s hard to leave the familiar. You may have a false sense of security in your methodical approach to our daily tasks. Recognizing your triggers and avoiders can help you make significant progress in your work habits — and change your behavior.
Making A Change
If you want better results from your interactions with others, especially via email, first identify the thoughts that are holding you back. Identify the belief that underpins your behavior and explore its root cause.
Every day, commit to a small change and follow through. Seek advice from peers, mentors, or coaches. Find a pro and ask for advice. Adopt a new habit and watch your productivity skyrocket.