Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tips for Better E-Mail, Part 5: Blind Copy Thoughtfully

If you’re interested in maintaining good relationships, consider carefully whether you should blind copy. Many employees tell me that their managers insist on being blind copied on many e-mails; however, I do not consider such a practice as underhanded because we all know that our managers have the right to read those e-mails we write on the company system.

Blind copying enrages people not when you blind copy your boss but when you blind copy their boss, or project leader, or peer without their knowledge. Blind copying could be a serious ethical breach resulting in a loss of credibility and respect.

Blind copy only in situations which would not later cause you an embarrassing or defensive position. Blind copying messages to a distribution list is an example of a good practice because you spare each reader the trouble of sloughing through an endless recipient list.

Here's a guideline that will keep you out of harm's way: If you feel comfortable telling someone that you've blind copied to his boss the message you wrote to him, then you should be okay. But then why would you have bothered blind copying in the first place?

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