Use Email Effectively

When communicating by email, follow these guidelines:

  • Be cautious when using “forward.” Does the original sender expect you to forward it? When you send an email, are you sure how it will be handled? Will the recipient forward it to others? Be safe and assume your email will be forwarded.
  • Be judicious when using “reply all.” Does everyone in the thread need to see your response? Or would it be better to reply to the Sender only.
  • Be careful with the “Bcc” function (blind copy). It can be useful to maintain the privacy of recipients in a widely distributed email, but otherwise be cautious.
  • One method that may improve email efficiency is to say something like this: “I intend to do ________ unless you advise me differently by __________.” By explaining your intended next action, you will keep the recipient informed without requiring a response. Some people will appreciate your initiative while others may be uncomfortable with this approach, so check before employing this technique.
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