Do you know when it is appropriate to use the Cc: (Courtesy Copy) option when emailing business associates? Is there a difference between informing and tattling?
You bet there is.
Prioritize “Need to Know”
Email overload and lost productivity can be avoided by minimizing email volume for yourself and others. You can help to accomplish this by using Cc: judiciously.
Only Cc: others when it is important that they be kept informed. Not just because you want them to know. But because it is truly important that they know. Two different standards there.
Your motives in Cc:’ing coworkers and business associates can help you determine if a person should be added to the Cc: field.
- Is it because you are trying to expose a coworker’s behavior or lack thereof?
- Or is it because the other person needs the info provided in the email to do their job?
If it is #1, refrain from using Cc:.
Rather go talk to the person whose behavior you are not happy about. Have a good old fashioned in person discussion. If that doesn’t work, make an appointment to have a meeting with your supervisor about the situation.
What you do not do is blend personal gripes or ulterior motives via Cc: (or worse BCc:). Only Cc: those associates who are involved in the conversation and need to be aware of the issues currently being discussed because the information could directly impact them.
Professionals Do Not e-Tattle
What some make the mistake of doing is Cc:’ing a supervisor the moment they don’t like what a coworker in the office is doing — or not doing. That is e-tattling.
Consider what that approach may say about you if you jump to Cc: the next in command every time you do not agree with a comment or when you do not get a response as fast as you like from a coworker? You make it pretty clear that you are unable to work in a team environment.
When used to tattle or CYA, Cc:’ing rarely accomplishes anything other than creating unnecessary emails and in most cases only serves to negatively reflect upon you.