I’m guessing everyone reading this has thought or said that at least once in their lifetime. This is what I like to call the “Reply-All-itis” syndrome. Particularly in business situations, it is important to know when to reply to all and when not to. Here are some basic guidelines you can use:
When Reply All is appropriate
– When trying to organize a time or date for multiple people (Although a calendar invite will work better for this)
– When everyone on the email is involved in a project that requires all to be updated on a status
– When multiple people will benefit from the information in your reply
When NOT to use Reply All
– When a congratulations email goes out to the entire organization for something that one person achieved and you want to tell the one person “nice job”
– When a group email is sent and you want to send the obligatory “Thank You” reply
– When someone sends out a joke email (which probably isn’t appropriate anyway) and you want to send out a smiley face reply or an LOL
Basically, consider your audience, and specifically the people who may not have even needed the original email. While email is a great tool, it can be a huge distraction and time suck from productive efforts so spend a few seconds thinking about who actually needs to receive your reply.
In the event that you do get stuck on an obnoxious email chain, there is one last option that you can use. In Outlook, you can auto delete all future replies to an email conversation by clicking “ignore” from the Home tab. Just know that when you do that, any future replies to this will be automatically deleted without your knowledge.
Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997. He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.