by Arielle Essex

Creating rapport in writing

Crafting emails, letters, reports and other documents is an art form that is covered under other topics. But consider how you could easily transfer the skills of matching to the written form. Make sure you start by thinking about the individual who is your reader. It’s worth taking a moment to determine what kind of person you are talking to, what their preferences are, how they like to receive information and what their expectations might be regarding the form of the communication being used.

Different people and different companies have their own styles, particularly for email communications. Match what works in your situation. Match how much content is asked for and expected. Match the style and tone where appropriate. Match the frequency of communication. match the sesnsory language. Match the mood, however, never write an email when you are angry or upset as you may write something you later regret, and your anger may well be apparent in what you write making later communication difficult.

Typically emails need to be more brief than other communications. And, despite their immediacy, don’t make the mistake of taking less care about how you phrase your message. The more brief the message, the more care is needed.

Consider whether your receiver is more of a why, what, how or what if type of reader (see Rapport with groups.). Do they prefer more visual input or lots of data? Are they very analytical/credible or quite personable/approachable? Match their style in your communication. And if your writing will reach a larger group, make the effort to match all the styles. Cover all the bases and your chances of satisfying everyone’s needs will increase.

For more on this, see the topics on Business Writing and Storytelling for Business.