E-mail Etiquette: “Reply All” button can do more than send a message

Oops!  Hitting the Reply All button strikes havoc once again.  The State Department‘s email was almost shut down because of the size of an email. One person decided to hit this email choice, clogging the system to a noticeable level. So here are some considerations for better e-mail etiquette.

Use your email appropriately!

1. Select only the people in the cc: list that care about or need the information.  Rarely is it everyone on the carbon copy diatribe.

2. Re-title the message as the theme and topic changes. For the receiver of the message, it keeps the focus on what you are addressing.  For you, it makes it easier if you are searching for a message previously sent.

3. Obvious, but people still do it.  Don’t type in all caps.  It is hard to read and can be interpreted as shouting.

4. If you have a questions that has not been answered in two emails, pick up the phone or walk to other person’s office. This will save you time and build better relationships.

5. If you are upset and sending an email to address the situation, write it and save it as a draft.  Wait at least one hour, reread the message, and you will find that you need to rewrite part of the message and extract the emotion and anger.

6. Be concise and to the point. Think about using bullet points.  Most readers find this much easier to read, especially when you are receiving so many emails every day!

7. Make sure the original message (called a message thread) is included in your reply.  Otherwise the recipient may not have the context of your answer.

8. Use proper punctuation, structure and layout.

9. Do not use email to discuss confidential matters and consider adding a disclaimer to your message.

10. Try to read and proof your email before sending it. (This is one I’m working on!!)

Here a couple other posts on email that will help too!  http://www.decontaminatetoxicpeople.com/category/email/

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