A great lesson from Business Management Daily post:
5 types of emails to avoid
Maria had been emailing back and forth with a colleague all day about a work issue, when she finally decided to cc the boss. “We weren’t getting any closer to resolving the situation. I had to do something,” she says.
It felt like the right thing to do. Maria thought her supervisor would make the decision that the two co-workers couldn’t agree on. End of argument.
But that’s not how it turned out. Instead, it came back to bite her. Her co-worker became angry, and her boss saw Maria’s email as immature and undermining. Maria left the company shortly after, embarrassed but wiser.
“Emily Post was not around when email began,” says Marsha Egan, author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of Email Excellence. “So people have to make up their own rules. What one person might see as absolutely fine, another might find offensive.”
In the end, Maria’s “cc’ing up” exhibited poor etiquette and turned into a bad career move. Avoid cc’ing up and these other email faux pas:
The instant follow-up, or “Did you get my email?” Egan describes the instant follow-up as a “gotcha” move. The etiquette, she says, is to call before sending the email. “Let them know what you’ll be sending them and when.” They’ll be more likely to respond and read your message in the first place. (or if you need to know and you are on your Smartphone, BBM and iMessage shows they read it!)
Screaming via email, or typing “READ THIS.” The intent may be to grab someone’s attention, but an all-cap message can come across as forceful or arrogant. The same goes for multiple exclamation points.
Correcting a co-worker. In an effort to make sure higher-ups see a clean document, a person may proofread, correct and resend an email sent by her colleague ensuring that the corrected version lands at the top of the boss’s inbox. How is the effort perceived? As a way of one-upping or publicly shaming a co-worker. Nobody wins.
Overflagging. Using the priority flag for too many emails, particularly ones without a deadline or an expiration date, is a “boy who cried wolf” move. The odds are your emails will have less of a chance of being read quickly.
Recycling an old email chain. Rather than begin a new email chain to someone, you piggyback on a message already in your inbox—with an old subject line. The perception on the recipient’s end may be that you’re disorganized or lazy. Solution: Always start a new email chain that reflects the subject being discussed.
The golden rule applies: How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of your message? What are your comments?
There are a few things to remind people first off:
1.If you are the SENDER, are you SURE you should be putting everyone in the TO: field?
2.If you are the RECEIVER, are you SURE you should hit the "Reply To All" button?
Twice this month I have had 2 people have my email in a list of hundreds of people in the TO: field. My training instincts kicked in when I received the emails. Did they hit send ----and their hearts stopped and went "OMG, what did I do?" or are they just unfamiliar with Email etiquette? Hey, I have been there, haven't we all? In the past it has happened to me and the horrible feeling comes over you and you can't retract that email! Here are some things to consider BEFORE you send to everyone in the TO: field:
1.Can they all be put in the BCC field instead?
2.Do they all need to see who you are sending too?
3.Do you really want to send to each person individually but that would take too much time? Use a great tool which I use all the time. SendPersonally.
Moral of this story: I can think of very few times that anyone should ever use TO: field for mass email.
This is situation is probably even worse given some scenarios. You get an email with a bunch of people in the TO: field and decide to respond to the sender about something Sally or Joe did and then hit "Reply to All". Yes, your heart really does stop beating for a moment and you get that incredible sinking feeling and are about to vomit…….Why isn't there an "Are you sure?" button. I actually think the button should be removed from our system and you consciously have to add it to use. Wouldn't that help out with this huge issue?
Do NOT use Reply to All when
only the sender needs to know your answer
your comments are useful to the sender and a couple of the recipients (Use Reply in this case and add the select other recipients manually. You can copy their addresses from the original email, of course.)
you have been a Bcc: recipient in the original message. If you reply to all as a Bcc: recipient, you reveal yourself as a Bcc: recipient.
your message says "Thanks!" or "Me too!" "Great will be there".
Moral of this story: Only use Reply to All if you really NEED your message to be seen by EVERY SINGLE person who received the original message.
Please use both very wisely! What are your comments? Have you done this and had some horrid repercussions?
Changing one crackberry addict at a time. lol. I have trained thousands of people and get the same consistent complaint about etiquette. So thought I would do up some Do's and Don'ts and please feel free to comment on your own!
Turn off your BlackBerry when requested (Hospitals, Airplanes, Labs, Dr. Offices, etc)
Keep the ringer on silent or vibrate at least when you are in meetings. We all use a great application that silences sounds when your calendar shows busy! I know, how great is that? Here is the link if you are interested and currently they are 50% off. Fixmo Tools.
Pull off the road when you absolutely must answer a message or phone call
Handsfree is the only way to do this legally in most states and provinces, we have some information about some cool apps HERE
Keep phone conversations as short as possible, you’ll save money in the long run
Find out cost savings measures through our training or call your Carrier.
If you text but aren't on a plan, maybe you should be
If you are Canadian and answer calls when you travel in Canada, you shouldn't be. There is a free way to do this.
Does Unlimited data mean free around the world? Unlikely. Find out what your plan really covers and understand it.
Answer messages / phone during meetings, interviews, public performances, etc.
Answer messages / phone at museums or churches
Answer messages / phone while driving unless you are handsfree. Did you know Oprah has a huge movement going called "No Phone Zone" Find out more HERE
Walk and Type (you’ll walk into somebody or something and there are even reported deaths)
Leave the ringer on loud in a restaurant
Talk too loudly – Respect the people around you wherever you are, on a bus, in a restaurant, coffee shop, etc
Put your BlackBerry on the table at restaurants / bars / lounges (it’s disrespectful to the people you are with, and you might forget it when you leave)
Answer unimportant calls / messages at the Gym
Things to remember:
When in doubt turn the ringer off or use Fixmo and don’t answer messages
Every time you answer work messages during non-work hours you’re effectively working for free! How much are you really working for every hour if you add up after hours?
Try to imagine how the person across the table feels when you are answering your BlackBerry… would you want somebody to do that to you? It is disrespectful and downright rude. The only time I think it is ok is if you are expecting an extremely urgent call and you forewarn the person that you might have to get an urgent call.