Reread After Sending: E-mail Impulses by Personality Type | 16Personalities

Email is an everyday yet powerful form of communication that influences the way we interact in business and in our personal lives. Some people work intensely on crafting the perfect message, while others prefer to rush into their thoughts almost as quickly as they conceive them. and once the send button has been irreversibly pressed, some of us go back and dwell on the words we have sent to our superiors, colleagues, friends and loved ones.

How common is this habit of reviewing messages that have already been sent, and to what extent is it influenced by personality type? To find out, we asked our readers if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “you always reread your email after you send it.”

Interestingly, a large majority agreed overall (73%), so if you thought you might be too compulsive to re-read emails, you’re not alone! and while there were notable differences between almost all personality-trait pairings, by far the most significant gap was between the turbulent and assertive personality types (79% vs. 66% agreement, respectively).

Which personality types are most likely to re-read emails after they’ve been sent? let’s find out.

roles

diplomats (78% agree)

Of the four roles, diplomatic personality types were the most likely to agree to give sent emails a second look. As a role that is deeply attuned to the power of language to influence the emotions of others, diplomats can choose their words carefully to avoid misunderstandings and unintended offense. we can attribute this sensitivity to its intuitive trait, which was a key influencing factor in the likelihood that our readers would agree with the statement, as well as its emotional trait. even after sending an email, a diplomatic personality can take the time to review what was said, in case there are any corrections or retractions.

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analysts and sentinels (74% and 73%)

Analysts and Sentinels strongly agreed in their agreement with the statement, “you always reread your email after you send it.” the concern that diplomats may have about the effectiveness of their emails seems to be shared by analysts and sentinels alike, albeit for different reasons. while diplomats may concern themselves with the subtle nuances of meaning and recipient sentiment in even the most innocuous messages, analysts and sentinels look at emails more pragmatically, viewing them as instrumental missives to achieve goals. For Analyst personality types, this is likely a result of their core mix of intuitive and thinking traits, which makes them more concerned with making sure plans are executed according to their visions than with pleasing people. by rereading the emails, they can verify that no necessary information was left out.

Sentinel personalities are likely interested in making sure they express themselves as clearly and accurately as possible. all sentinels share the judging trait, which was another key factor in the likelihood that our readers would agree that they always reread their emails. Placing great weight on established procedures, organization, and clarity, Sentinels may believe that well-crafted emails help everyone work together and cooperate more effectively.

explorers (66%)

Browsers were the least likely role to review their emails after they were sent. their observant and forward-looking personality traits make them practical but also flexible. a role that tends to think and act quickly, browsers prefer to move on after finishing an email, rather than dwell on its content. assuming that any missing information can be provided later, when needed, or that unwanted misunderstandings can be easily resolved with a quick follow-up note, or perhaps a phone call or in-person chat, chances are the guys explorer personality types don’t spend too much time composing or rereading your emails.

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strategies

constant improvement and social commitment (81% and 77% agree)

As mentioned above, identity-turbulent personality types were the most likely to agree that they always reread emails after sending them. The intense self-criticism that characterizes constant improvement and social engagement strategies can cause a great deal of anxiety when communicating with others, leading many constant improvers and social participants to search their messages for not just embarrassing typos and grammatical errors, but also any statements that could have unintended effects on their recipients and, in turn, on themselves. Introverted personalities were also markedly more likely to agree that they reread emails than extroverts, which explains the higher agreement of the constant improvers.

turbulent advocates (infj-t) agreed with our research statement more than any other personality type (89%). advocates are more concerned than other types about the image they present of themselves in all areas of their lives, including their emails. this is not because they are vain or superficial; In fact, it’s the opposite. altruistic types who are always working for a cause, advocates often use an inspirational writing style that motivates others to action. they may believe that the way they express themselves in email affects not only their personal image, but also the success of their cause. as constant improvements, they will always evaluate what they could write differently next time to be even more effective.

safe individualism and domination of people (69% and 64%)

Assertive members of the confident individualism and dominance of people strategies, by contrast, were less likely to reread emails after sending them. their assertive identities make them more self-confident than turbulent personality types, and generally less concerned about potentially negative consequences that could flow from their words or actions, so they rarely think twice about their emails .

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Of all the personality types, assertive entrepreneurs (estp-a) were the least likely to agree that they always reread their emails after sending them (57%). Entrepreneurs are action-oriented types who would rather go out and live life than sit behind a computer screen worrying about composing their emails. This does not mean that they are bad communicators. In fact, as teachers of extroverts who thrive socially, entrepreneurs are pretty perceptive guys with a knack for clear, direct communication. these personalities may simply feel like they don’t need to read their emails again because they always come across as directly as they intended.

conclusions

Although our survey indicated that most of us spend time rereading emails after they’ve been sent, it’s interesting to consider how our different personality traits give us very different motivations for doing so, from consideration for others’ feelings to ensuring the accuracy of the facts to maintain our own image.

While there may be some practical reasons for re-reading emails, the main divide between turbulent and assertive types seems to indicate that concern is the key factor. Most of the time, rereading emails is an impulse, similar to the one that makes us return home to check that the stove is turned off or the front door is locked. it’s hard to know where the line falls between due diligence and excessive concern. but we should keep in mind that even when we send follow-up emails to correct typos or clarify perceived ambiguities, there is a limit to how much we can correct after the fact. once sent, an email can’t really be remembered.

reread your emails after you hit send? How do you think your personality type influences this habit? let us know in the comments below!

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