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Are You an e-Tattler at Work?

Don't be a business email tattle tale!

Do you know when using the Cc: (Courtesy Copy) option when emailing business associates is appropriate? 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 they must be kept informed. Not just because you want them to know. But because they must 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:.

Instead, 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 meet 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 involved in the conversation who must 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, whenever you disagree with a comment or 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 reflect upon you negatively.

Click these links for more on using Cc: and BCc:.

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