Do You Sign Your Emails With Intention?

Most people have some sort of email signature that is attached to every message they send. This can be helpful because it usually contains other contact information, relevant titles, associations, etc. While I can see the value (read: saving time, saving money) in this, I wonder if not signing your name at the end of emails may begin to foster an ambivalence to the content (or more importantly) the tone of the email?

A brief aside: Having spent time in PhD program, I became accustomed to the phrase, “that’s a dissertation topic,” and I’ve definitely kept note of that since. There’ve been a number of times since enrolling in business school where I’ve come across potential ideas for a dissertation. While I have no intentions (in the immediate future) to return to a doctoral program, I have a feeling that I may continue to see ideas in this way. My guess is that this is a positive attribute as it continually reminds me to think in terms of the scientific method. This digression was meant to point to the fact that I think it might be interesting to see some research on email signatures and the author’s ambivalence to the tone of the message. Back to the email signatures.

I wrote a about a year and a half ago about the “whys” with regard to how I sign-off emails or messages. I’ve slightly changed the way I sign-off emails (no longer writing “love”), but the good intentions are still the same. My desire to ‘write it out’ each time is, in part, because in writing this word (gratitude) every time I send an email, it reminds me (if even for a millisecond) to feel gratitude. Similarly, when I write my name, it feels like — to me — as if I’m signing my name in ink to what I’ve said in the email. In so doing, I take a greater sense of ownership over the content of the email.

After my stint in business school has concluded and I’m back to working full-time, I wonder (hope?) that this inclination still remains.

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Any Thoughts?

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