An email cc’d is not a problem solved

We’ve all been there – a CC’d recipient on someone else’s email where there isn’t enough room to see all of the email addresses. They tend to go on and on and after a while we’re not sure why we started to read them but by that point it is too late.

Many companies have policies about what you can and cannot do with email from a legal/compliance/technical perspective but less address email use from an organisational efficiency or cultural perspective. Email is a tremendously useful tool but it needs to be used effectively making organisations more efficient and not making staff slaves to their inbox.

Emails should be:

  • Concise
  • Targeted
  • Specific
  • Action orientated

My assumption (and I might be wrong) is that if I CC someone on an email – they don’t need to read it and they probably will not read it anyway.

There is some good guidance on The 9 Simple Rules Of Email Mastery blog – my favorite para is:

Filter all CCs to subfolders…and ignore: This is one part training your co-workers and one part self-discipline. So much of office politics is played out in the CC: and BCC: fields. If I’m not in the “To:” field of an email thread, you’re not including me in the discussion directly—so I’m not interested, by definition. Even if I wasn’t obstinately trying to help you organize your communication better, in more than 20 years of using email in work and academic pursuits, I have rarely read something compelling, or in need of my action, that I was CC’d on.’

Not advocating this but certainly food for thought. And remember, email is a fantastic tool but there are other options:  it’s good to talk.