Email etiquette is about respect and common sense. The same respect and professionalism you expect others to show to you is also crucial when writing your own communications. Email is a form of communication. Like written letters, telephone conversations, and face-to-face speech, email is guided by etiquette. We use mutual respect and common sense to guide us in all forms of communication. Let’s look at three case studies and see how email etiquette can go wrong, and why it’s so important to get it right.
When arguing by email with a colleague, an employee secretly carbon copies (CCs) the boss in a reply without the colleague’s knowledge. What happened after the email? The employee looked like a tattletale and ultimately left the company. Emails may seem like an instant method of communication, like talking and texting. However, like letters, emails are a written form of communication. When writing a hard copy of a letter to a colleague, most of us would not have waited for a reply and then photocopied all of the letters to send to the boss. Email etiquette demands the same rules as letter writing etiquette, in terms of content, grammar, tone, and proper form.
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