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Discretion and Your Business Email Communications

It's important to use discretion in your Business Email communications.


  • Freedom to act or judge on one’s own
  • Knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress
  • Refined taste; tact
  • The power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies
  • The trait of judging wisely and objectively

Lack of Discretion in Business Emails

Based on the above definition, can you see how much discretion comes into play when it comes to your business email activities? For instance, here are just a few examples off the top of my head, of not using discretion in you business email communications:

  • Forwarding a private email sent to you by a coworker to others without the sender’s knowledge.
  • Forwarding “warm and fuzzy” emails that reflect your causes, charities or political point of view using your business email address.
  • Sending large and/or multiple attachments without the courtesy of asking first or confirming preferred file format.
  • Using Cc: (or worse BCc:) to CYA or e-tattle on coworkers or business associates.
  • Using company email to signup for newsletters that are not directly business related.

I can go on… Those who fail to use their discretion in their business email communications are viewed as doing just that. As a result, the perception that you have a lack of discretion when it comes to running your business can be a huge red flag. Above all, to future customers and partners.

Do contacts think this of you?

Talk about lazy!

What else do they don’t pay attention to details?

How unprofessional!

Is this business worth trusting?

When you do not think before you do, by using discretion, more times than not the perception is that you lack tech or business savvy. And courtesy. In some cases it will cause your credibility and even education to be in question.

With business email, you need to consciously use your discretion at all times to make sure you are perceived as a consummate professional. You want associates, customers, clients and management alike know they can trust and rely on you. Be the person they look forward to communicating with.

Patience, Professionalism = Discretion

Discretion could very well be one of the most important tools we have at our disposal. Using discretion will ensure you leave the impression necessary and critical to your long term business success.

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