The next time you start crafting an e-mail, think about the DISC styles of the sender (you) and the receiver (someone who you hope will actually read and digest what you have written.) If you’re writing to an Eagle, let brevity and clarity be your guiding lights. Eagles will not wade through paragraph after paragraph of ideas or analysis. Simply starting with the bottom-line up front will make them very happy. If more detail is necessary, providing the big picture first gives Eagles the context and motivation to read further.
If you’re writing to a Parrot, focus on what’s fresh, innovative, or impactful about the project. Parrots are experiential by nature. Putting your information in the context of how it affects people will maintain a Parrot’s interest. Be sure to add an exclamation point or two and feel free to use more casual language, emphasizing what’s fun or creative about what you’re sharing.
Dove styles appreciate a methodical approach to communication. Their patience and curiosity makes them the ideal recipient for longer e-mails that describe how a project will unfold, step by step. Doves also appreciate being appreciated – so a warmer tone and a few thank you’s thrown in will connect with this DISC style well.
Owls are interested in the data. All of it! Honestly, I don’t know if it’s possible to give an Owl too much information. Owl’s appreciate a systematic, logical presentation that outlines each step, anticipates alternative solutions to potential setbacks, and is otherwise focused on the details. Emotional content, either positive or negative, will essentially be ignored by Owls.
What if you are sending an email to many people representing all of the styles? Simply follow the DISC system. Start with the bottom-line – that’s for the Eagles. The second paragraph can focus on the more interesting aspects of the project. Further down, include which aspects will affect team members and express empathy and understanding. Save the nitty-gritty details for the end of the e-mail. Eagles and Parrots will probably not get passed paragraph two. Doves will read the whole thing and Owls will skim the top and feast on the bottom.
For many, e-mail is both an important, yet frustrating tool. By tailoring your e-mails to suit the recipient’s DISC style, you are very likely to better get your message across.