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When To Not Include Everyone

To Reply or Reply All

There seems to be a common theme of the unprofessionally trained in email communication.  Email is not for everyone.  Some people have a mindset of a tweet while others think in Facebook posts.  In this microwave generation, the abbreviations used in text messages are drastic to get the point across to the recipients.  Nonetheless, these people are expected to be able to communicate effectively when speaking with professionals in corporate settings, business deals, or polite correspondence.  Part of communicating effectively is knowing when to hit the Reply All button.

It is generally okay to hit the Reply All button if one of the following pertains to the situation:

  1. Everyone on the email has a stake or is impacted by the responses.
  2. If the email is going to a distribution list and a question is being asked to the multitude to get an answer or enlighten others that might not know of the response.
  3. Recipients of the email have specifically asked you to include other parties in the email.
  4. You are not saying something negative about one of the people on the To: or CC: list.
It is not okay to hit the Reply All button in response to someone informing the group of general information of which your reply has no meaning to the rest of the group.  For example, if there is a message that there is an early office closing, don't respond to the entire group that you have not received  your new computer.  Everyone on the building notice sees this, and needless to say, how either unsavvy or disinterested you really are in your communication.

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