I received an email from a reader that began like this: "Recently I was berated by a person for not continuing his Reply to All format."
We should not be berating one another. We all have the goal of being efficient with email. So in the interest of efficiency and getting along with our colleagues, I am offering a typical Reply vs. Reply to All scenario. Please read it and decide which fictional character you agree with. Perhaps we can learn from one another.
Scenario: Six people are on a team to plan and staff their company's trade show booth. They have had two meetings so far, after which they have emailed and Replied to All, with everyone getting lots of emails with long threads about the booth plans.
Two team members, Paula and Brian, are responsible for booth signs. Paula did research on sign pricing, and she emailed her research to Brian without copying the team. Brian replied to Paula to ask a question, and he copied the other team members. Paula replied to Brian–not to all.
Brian is annoyed with Paula. He says they should be copying everyone on the team on everything they do so that people are in the loop.
Paula thinks they are drowning in email. She says they should only copy the entire team when everyone needs the information.
With whom do you agree? Why?