Have you ever had a personality type test? Whether it’s Myers Briggs, DiSC or any of the myriad of other tools out there, they can be fascinating and useful insights into you and the way you react and interact with the world.
What these tests help you understand is why and how you think and act differently to someone with a different personality type. Armed with this knowledge, you’re better equipped to adapt to different situations and, crucially, different people.
It means that when you’re communicating with individuals or small teams, you can adapt the way you interact in order to accommodate the people around you. (For example, you know that your boss gets bored by detail and loves ‘blue sky thinking’; your colleague gets frustrated by what they perceive as ‘daydreaming’ and just wants to get on with the practicalities, so you make sure you adapt accordingly.)
But what about when you’re communicating with larger groups of people or people that you may never know or meet? As a writer, this is what is particularly interesting to me. Because whether you’re writing marketing copy, a speech or a briefing document, the chances are that all the different personality types will be reading it. It’s your responsibility to make sure that what you’re writing appeals to all those personality types.
So next time you’re writing something here are some things to think about:
- Is it structured so it will appeal to those who just want the big picture as well as those who want the detail?
- Have you included points that will appeal to people who are more persuaded by facts as well as those who are more persuaded by feelings? (This bleach kills 99% of all known germs will appeal to the former; Cleaning your bathrooms with this bleach will help you keep your family safe will appeal to the latter.)
- Will your argument appeal to people who want to be sold a vision of what the future looks like as well as those who will focus on the practicalities of how you’ll get them there? (Imagine sunning yourself on a white sand beach and swimming in turquoise seas will be enough for the former; the latter will want to know the practicalities around flights and transfers.)
And by making sure you’re appealing to all the personality types, you’ll be maximising the effectiveness of whatever it is you’re writing.
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