Communication TipsConsulting Best Practices

Do You Copy the Right People?

Email is like snow. It accumulates and accumulates until you would rather just stay inside and not be bothered with it. In a post for Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses some good practices to apply on the subject of copying people on emails. For instance, while it is common to copy a lot of people on an email when you are not sure which person has the information you need, you should slim down who receives response emails as soon as you start to understand who has the answers. Often, what you might consider a good FYI to send to others could end up being treated as white noise and ignored anyway.

Conversely, sometimes you may need to add a person to the conversation, in which case Sauder recommends this:

A critical manager may need to be involved so that he or she is aware of an on-going issue. The best way to add that person is to “Reply all” to the email, add that person to the recipient list, and add a “+ Bob”. This helps make it explicit to everybody that the person(s) has been added to the thread.

If a manager just needs to know the outcome, it may be better to wait until the thread comes to closure. At that time, you can forward the final email of the thread to the manager. Provide a short summary of the issue and its resolution.

Lastly—and particularly when dealing with people you do not know well—make sure the right person’s name has been selected in the address box. You do not want to copy the completely wrong person on a long string of emails.

For additional thoughts, you can view the original post here:

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