Be Careful with Email Communication

My last post on, “What’s happened to email communication?” stirred up some conversation. Seems everyone has an opinion – including yours truly. :)

I know there are tons of resources that outline email etiquette, procedures, email management, etc. But for me, email etiquette is really simple.

1. Emails have permanence – don’t put anything in an email you will regret later. Some people have a habit of saving every email they receive as “proof” for everything and anything.
2. Don’t put anything in email you wouldn’t want your grandma to read. No explanation needed for this one. (I read this somewhere and it stuck with me. Sorry I can’t give proper credit to the author.)
3. Pretend as if the email recipient was right in front of you. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t put it in an email. This tip can be misinterpreted because some people have a no holds barred communication style, and say anything without regard to the other person. They have no problems putting something in email – but I would refer them to tips #1 and #2.

I’ve learned a lot about email etiquette in the last 10 years or so. There are many things that I would not send in an email now, that I have sent in the past. But now, I am just glad I have learned what not to do.

Come to think of it, these 3 tips are the same for blogging and any participation in social media.  The only change I would make to Tip #2 is not to blog about anything I don’t want my children to read.  We know I’ll embarrass them in many other ways!

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