Type “email etiquette” into the search bar of any popular internet search engine and you’ll get over a million hits. Because email can be used so broadly, it poses certain difficulties for the professional who is trying to communicate well. Any of those over 1 million hits will show you the benefits of using email to conduct your small business since it is a speedy and efficient type of communicating. However, email is truly the least preferred method of communicating by many readers.
With that in mind, I wish to address one of the many options of email–the “Reply All” function. By using this function carefully will help you protect and improve your professional credibility and keep you from alienating your potential customers–especially those who don’t like email to begin with.
I’m a member of many online groups, and frequently a group’s leader will Share Email as Link to the entire group giving out information or delivering a reason for instruction. Far too frequently, recipients of the group message will react to the sender by showing up in the “Reply All” function. The situation with that is actually all their “is going to do,” “got it,” and “thanks” responses end up in my Inbox becoming clutter I actually have to go through and delete.
The “Reply All” function ought to be reserved for when all members of the recipient list require the information being sent. Permit me to say that again, reserve the “Reply All” when ALL members require the responder’s answer. In the number of cases do you need to understand that one of the recipients said “okay”? Not often. Instead, inside the interest of your time, efficiency, and professionalism this type of response should be sent simply to the person who generates the original email.
You’ve read within my other articles that poor communication is the Number One symptom in business. Hitting “Reply All” in habit and not being a carefully chosen choice is poor communication as it clutters our inboxes with information we don’t need. When we take into account that every “Reply All” is a bit of paper on our desks, would we want those responses? Absolutely not. We’d be buried in paper!
Certainly, “Reply All” has its own uses. In a collaborative project where all individuals the group must be kept apprised from the goings-on of associates, using “Reply All” is the right action to take. This is especially important if the team works remotely or when people in the group focus on opposite shifts or don’t see the other person frequently. Then using “Reply All” is great communication since it keeps the lines of communication open and moving. But again, I caution judicious utilization of the “Reply All” function.
We have now another excellent reason to make use of the “Reply All” function judiciously and this is related to the functioning of the unit together. Using “Reply All” well can increase a team’s capacity to function by keeping communication open, thereby helping the company reach its goals. However, using “Reply All” can also be used as being a weapon and become destructive skrfil a team relationship. Without a doubt a narrative to help you understand this.
I’ve been working with a company which has had a large amount of internal strife for a number of reasons. In an attempt to become more supportive, the president in 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 business better. This was a responsive, proactive action to take on the portion of the president. Here’s what happened next: another from the president’s employees hit “Reply All” and said “Don’t forget that Jane did her part, too.”
Towards the casual observer this exchange might not are most often a large deal. But while that message may appear innocuous, it conveys testiness as well. The staffer’s reply was created not only to acknowledge Jane but to “show” the rest of the staff the president didn’t truly know that which was taking place in the organization. The reality that the staffer sent the “Reply All” to acknowledge Jane had a subversive intent, and this would be to expose the failings of the president. The president then scrambled to offer Jane the correct acknowledgement and sent another message via “Reply All” acknowledging Jane’s contribution. The result: the president was put on the defensive in front of her entire staff. Not a good position for any leader to remain.