I enjoyed the podcasts on effective emails for high-S, high-C, high-D and high-I individuals.  One problem I have in applying the principles discussed in the podcasts is that most of my emails are addressed to groups of physicians, not individuals.  I would say that most physicians in my groups are high-D and high-C individuals so I realize that the advice for these types is most relevant.  So I am wondering if there is any specific advice about emails that may be going to groups of individuals who may be of different personality types.  I would assume that trying to strike a balance in addressing different types would make the most sense, but are there any special tricks?

Another problem I encounter is with regard to the types of emails that our group frequently exchange.  The examples used in the podcasts center around brief informational emails to subordinates and/or requests for information, etc.  My emails are almost exclusively to colleagues/parters who are on an equal footing.  Sometimes I find myself trying to explain somewhat complicated organizational rules and this is difficult without loosing people's attention.  In addition, we frequently discuss controversial business decisions that directly or indirectly involve pay, vacation, work hours and status within the group.  For these topics, the purpose of the email is often to solicit ideas or persuade my colleagues that a particular decision is best and that we should adopt a new policy or vote a particular way for an upcoming measure.  Our group works at different medical facilities and it is difficult for everyone to get together physically for meetings so email is a practical option that we frequently use.  There are frequently conflicting interests due to different ages, different medical facility affiliations, different team memberships, etc. so there are a lot of politics at work.  Any advice on group emails in a politically charged environment?


wendii's picture
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will answer the first part of your question, and possibly the second :-)


MichaelNunez's picture

 Thanks for the rapid response.  The podcast was very helpful, especially the idea of putting the brief summary at the top and supporting details below.

Until today, my only exposure to Manager Tools/Career Tools was through podcast downloads that I did through iTunes onto my iPhone.  I thought that I had downloaded all of your podcasts that were available through iTunes but there are clearly a lot more available than I realized, including the one you referred to me via the link.  I guess I'll have to play around with the full website to see what else I can get onto my iphone.

GlennR's picture

I find myself sending out group emails sometimes to senior managers,  other times to middle managers or entry level staff. Here are my cardinal rules.

1. Only when absolutely positively necessary and there is no better way.

2. BLUF in the first two sentences (Thank you MT)

3. No vertical scroll bar which requires me to be edit ruthlessly. (Thank you MT and novelist Stephen King who advised writers to "Avoid needless words.")

I don't think of DiSc when I send them other than to pretend that everyone is a High D. No salutation. I jump into the BLUF, but say it in a conversational manner to avoid "corporateness."

Let me revisit #1 above. Open rates for emails of this type are not as high as you think they are. Just because the topic is important to you, does not mean it is important to staff in other departments. I also write the subject line so that it truthfully implies value and categorizes the email. "New Resources Available To You For X Promotion" "Three Changes That Impact Your Meeting Planning"

dmb41carter36's picture

I agree with the titles of the emails. This is often overlooked and it drives me nuts.

In reference to the original poster, it seems it may be more of an issue of communication compared to emails. Perhaps it may be better if you tried to organize a conference call at varying times throughout the week. If the topic is that important, you may offer a few times to call in and provide some input. Yes, you miss having the entire group interact. The good thing is that you may get better ideas (piggybacking), and reduce the wasted back and forth emails often coming in a different times on different threads.  Also, in this manner you may get some more open feedback from people since I would bet when the top people in the company weigh in, there is a tendency for others lower in the hierarchy to withdraw from the conversation. If you have multiple conversations, you have a better chance of engaging people.

Lastly, consider the communication styles. Offer a conference call to your I's and S's. Offer personal brief emails to your high D's and consider perhaps a longer email or presentation you can send your high C's.

Good luck to you!