Being Respectful of People's Time

Last modified on September 30th, 2009

Today is a grumpy day for me. I haven’t had a good sleep for a few days, and woke up with snot dripping all over my face. That being said, I wanted to point something out on my site.

I’ve been told that one of the most disrespectful things you can do in the corporate world is to add someone as a CC to an email. Basically once you’re on an email thread, you’re there to stay, whether you like it or not. Ever remove someone from a CC list? It happens I’m sure, but it’s not the norm. Ideally you’d ping someone on IM or some other back channel and ask a person before adding them to a CC list. “Hey Bob, does this matter interest you?” If it doesn’t interest them, there’s no reason to flood their inbox with a matter they couldn’t care less about.

Every time an email comes in, it’s a distraction. Sure, you can shut your email program down, but at some point in your working week you’ll have to fire it back up and scan through every email, even the ones that aren’t important. That’s why being on a CC list that isn’t relevant just ends up producing a bunch of noise that you have to sift through.

Today I went around to the various social networking sites and reduced all my notification settings. I’m just getting tired of random invites to things I’m obviously not interested in (such as events on the other side of the country). I also got a pile of invites to the exact same event today, even though I already said I wasn’t attending. If you’re a company trying to entice people to attend an event, getting blasted over and over with the same invite isn’t exactly the most successful way to get people to attend. In fact, it basically did the opposite in my case, since it pulled me away from what I was doing more than once to reject it again. If you have a corporate Twitter account or a corporate mailing list (both of which in theory are voluntary), then by all means send information to those people.

At the heart of most successful business relationships is mutual respect. If someone doesn’t respect your time, one of the most precious commodities these days, why would you want to engage them in a business relationship?

End rant.

3 responses to “Being Respectful of People's Time”

  1. Lyndsey says:

    I’m having a grumpy day too. Here’s a big hug from me to you..have a drink or go into your own world for like 10 minutes, and just breath =)

  2. Peter Goudswaard says:

    Somebody needs a beer…

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