Detecting email senders' personality: four keys.
Unlike face-to-face communication, it can be more difficult to effectively convey important aspects of one's personality in email. The question then becomes: How competently can the average person infer a personality from our emails? The answer boils down to four points, according to Fast Company blogger Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an international authority in psychological profiling, consumer analytics and talent management.
1 "Your words define you." After all, people use language in different ways, and those differences are a function of personality.
2 "It's not just what you say but also how you say it." Poor grammar is typically a reflection of lower levels of IQ and academic intelligence. Long e-mails reflect energy and thoroughness. At the same time, such length can denote some degree of neediness and disorganization.
3 "It's easy for readers to misinterpret cues." Correct interpretations require paying attention to such contextual factors as awareness of the sender's main motivation. "It is also important to determine whether cues are truly related to senders' unique personality or transient mood and behaviors."
4 "Trust needs chemistry, which happens in person." Our impressions of others are rarely the same in the digital realm as in the physical world. Even phone conversations can omit key information about individuals' personalities.