Creative LeadershipEngaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

Stop CC’ing So Many People on Your Emails

Far too many leaders suffer from a very common malady: CC’ing everyone on their emails. They believe it keeps the team in the loop, keeps everyone informed, and helps make things happen more efficiently. But the truth is, the more people you include in emails, the LESS productive and efficient it actually is. Although it sounds like including more people gets the word out faster and keeps them in the loop, it’s actually quite confusing and unproductive in practice. Here’s why:

1) It creates duplication because they’re not sure who’s responsible. So you get a lot of wasted effort when multiple people wonder if they’re supposed to follow up.

2) It creates confusion because, without further explanation, they’re usually not sure why they were cc’d in the first place.

3) People bump into each other, and turf wars happen because the lines of responsibility are not clearly drawn.

4) Nothing happens because you weren’t specific. When you include everyone, people will naturally assume someone else will take care of it, and therefore, nobody will.

I’ve found it much more effective only to include the specific people directly responsible for what you want to happen.

Keep the team informed on what’s happening in other ways, like updates, reports, or short meetings that allow more explanation regarding their role in making it happen.

You’ll get more accomplished and more direct action on your requests and, of course – be less frustrated in the process.

What about your office? Know anyone who’s guilty?

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  1. My sentiments exactly. Can’t wait to pass this on to a number of people, in fact, I think I’ll cc most of the people I work with!

  2. I’ve clarified with people that I work with that To: means you want me to do something, CC means you want me to know something but don’t require anything of me, and BCC means you want me to know something but don’t want others on the e-mail to know that I’m seeing it. And for e-mail management, I created a rule in Outlook that any message where I’m not in the To line is not put in my inbox. If someone wanted me to do something, they’d send it To me.

    And for large, informational only e-mails, I send BCC to all with a To to me and state at the bottom that the e-mail went to the following individuals. Eliminates the reply all.

  3. nadie es culpable porque nadie lo hizo!! así es como el empleado nadie es el mas eficiente… el que hace todo.. o no hace nada … nadie!!

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