Type “email etiquette” into the search bar of any popular internet search engine and you’ll get over a million hits. Because email is used so broadly, it poses certain difficulties for the professional who is trying to communicate well. Some of those over 1 million hits will explain some great benefits of using email to conduct your small business as it is a quick and efficient type of communicating. However, email is often the least preferred way of communicating by many readers.
Bearing that in mind, I would like to address one of the numerous options of email–the “Reply All” function. Applying this function carefully will allow you to protect and enhance your professional credibility and keep you from alienating your readers–especially those who don’t like email in the first place.
I’m a member of many online groups, and frequently a group’s leader will Share Email as Link to the entire group handing out information or delivering a reason for instruction. Way too frequently, recipients with this group message will respond to the sender by showing up in the “Reply All” function. The issue using that is actually all their “will do,” “got it,” and “thanks” responses end up in my Inbox becoming clutter I have to sort through and delete.
The “Reply All” function should be restricted to when all people in the recipient list require the information being sent. Let me say that again, reserve the “Reply All” when ALL members have to have the responder’s answer. In the number of cases must you realize that among the recipients said “okay”? Not often. Instead, inside the interest of energy, efficiency, and professionalism this sort of response needs to be sent just to the person who generates the original email.
You’ve read within my other articles that poor communication is the main problem in business. Hitting “Reply All” in habit rather than being a carefully chosen option is poor communication because it clutters our inboxes with information we don’t need. Whenever we take into consideration that every “Reply All” is a piece of paper on our desks, would we wish all of the responses? Absolutely not. We’d be buried in paper!
Certainly, “Reply All” has its own uses. In a collaborative project where all members of the team have to be kept apprised of the goings-on of team members, using “Reply All” will be the right thing to do. This is particularly important when the team works remotely or when individuals they focus on opposite shifts or don’t see the other person frequently. Then using “Reply All” is good communication since it keeps the lines of communication open and moving. But again, I caution judicious utilization of the “Reply All” function.
We have another really good reason to make use of the “Reply All” function judiciously which concerns the functioning of any unit together. Using “Reply All” well can increase a team’s capability to function by keeping communication open, thereby improving the company reach its goals. However, using “Reply All” can also be used as being a weapon and turn into destructive skrfil a team relationship. Without a doubt a story to help you understand this.
I’ve been working with an organization that has had quite a bit of internal strife for a number of reasons. In an attempt to be more supportive, the president of the organization sent a complimentary email about one staffer’s efforts to her entire staff. Nice email. Good job of communicating how staff is making the corporation better. This was a responsive, proactive action to take on the portion of the president. Here’s what actually transpired next: another in the president’s staff members hit “Reply All” and said “Don’t forget that Jane did her part, too.”
Towards the casual observer this exchange may not are most often a big deal. But although that message may seem innocuous, it conveys testiness as well. The staffer’s reply was created not just to acknowledge Jane but to “show” the rest of the staff the president didn’t actually know what was happening inside the organization. The truth that the staffer sent the “Reply All” to acknowledge Jane experienced a subversive intent, and this would be to expose the failings of the president. The president then scrambled to offer Jane the proper acknowledgement and sent another message via “Reply All” acknowledging Jane’s contribution. The result: the president was put on the defensive facing her entire staff. Not just a good position for any leader to stay in.