The 4 Types of Readers - Which Are You? - [website] Email Print
Published: 27th of Mar 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

A fun exercise with a profound undertone. We all have our own style when writing and find ourselves drawn to read through a letter or article by the manner in which it has been put together.

If we understand the differing communication styles we are less likely to take offense or offend someone else.

Here’s a list of the four basic categories of readers/writers into which most of us fall:

Get to the point

This person doesn’t want any flowery language, long, complicated sentences or paragraphs (in fact I’ve lost them already!) - they just want you to get to the point, preferably in one short sentence or bullet points.

They are that person who dispenses with pleasantries at the beginning of a letter and finish with a curt: You must get back to me within the next hour – I don’t have time to waste!

They are all about time and, upon receipt of a detailed email from you, they reflexively pick up the phone and demand you summarise what you are trying to tell them. You catch this person’s attention by only putting the bare essentials in your email – in a way that makes it easy for them to glean the information you are furnishing them with, in the shortest possible time.

Include all the details

This person is the opposite from the one described above. This person writes long, very detailed letters which contain every fact, figure or other piece of information which they deem necessary for you to get a full picture.

Once you’ve worked through the entire document, you have a huge amount of background information, which will either irritate or please you – depending on which type of reader/writer you are. (Chances are this reader is going to click off this page and go onto the internet to read up on this subject, in lots more detail, before they decide whether or not it’s true!)

They are the type of person who tells you how the watch works before they tell you the time!

Be kind to me

This person will always open their correspondence with an enquiry as to how well you are doing. If they know you, they are likely to ask about your family etc. before they settle down into the body of their letter.

You recognise them by the gentle and courteous language they use to ask for something – generally they suggest as opposed to demand.

The tone of their email will be friendly, warm and caring, and they will be extremely careful not to include anything that could be construed as rude or unfriendly. (Unless they have had enough of being nice and have chosen this document to let you know just how furious they are with you. Not that you had any idea!)

Keep my interest

This person has the attention span of a gnat! They are extremely friendly, open people who write as they speak – loudly! Their correspondence will have you smiling and feeling like you wish it had gone on a little longer.

In order to get this person’s attention, you need to write in an amusing, personalised manner and keep in mind they want to be entertained whilst they take in the details of the email. Their replies will often be peppered with jokes and/or contain lots of exclamation marks!

This is some of the ground we cover on our Business Writing and Report Writing courses held regularly around the country.

Staff Training is a national soft skills training company, contact us at 0861 996 660 for more info or drop us an email.

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