« Focus on Value So Others Don't Fix on Costs | Main | 21 Ways to Shrink the Email Monster »

October 23, 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


if you realized that you boss has copied all you communication to his email, hw would you feel?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Mohammed, I am sorry that I do not understand the question. Could you give some details? That might help me understand.



When you cc someone on his/ her off days by mistake along with other people for some information that either of the cc'd person is responsible for is that incorrect?
What should you do if that person writes back to you warning you not to repeat it without ccing to other peole in loop?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Sumita, interesting! The first point to remember is that a cc is to keep someone in the loop. It's not for the person to do anything; it's for him or her to be informed. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with ccing a person on his or her day off. That individual decides when to read the email.

I'm not sure I understand your second question. Who is not ccing--you or the other person?

Email can be fraught with misunderstandings. Review the points I made in the blog post above, and stay positive.


Rusty McNeely

This was a very insightful blog. I came to find clearer direction for my team, and walked away with seeing areas of improvement for myself.

I have two millennials in on my team. We communicate differently. I have been working to educate myself on their communication style and adapt.

One point of contention is with keeping me on the loop. I am out of the office often and find that "ccing" me on correspondence is the easiest way to keep me up to speed. We also have one weekly meeting. I have been unsuccessful in getting them to comply.

Do you have any suggestions? Either to coach them in the right direction or modify how I am able to get the information from them.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Rusty,

Interesting question. You didn't mention whether you have asked the millennials to cc you on all correspondence, but your description suggests that. You also didn't mention whether everyone on the team has to cc you on correspondence.

I don't know whether you are part of a family or have a partner, but imagine this scenario: You travel a lot for business, and you ask your partner to email you about every interaction that takes place with the children while you are gone. Without that information, you would feel out of the loop.

In that scenario, can you imagine how burdensome and silly it would seem to your partner to have to loop you in to everything that happens? Your partner would wonder "Why can't I just update you when you come home at the end of the week? You know I will contact you about anything really significant."

Yes, the scenario differs from your situation in that your team members are emailing anyway, but there's still something to consider there.

I suggest that you free yourself from needing to be in the loop. Instead, develop your team members so they can function without you, letting you know only about unusual and significant situations that require your involvement or knowledge. Set some guidelines about what is unusual and significant in case there might be confusion about that.

What do you think, Rusty? Are you willing to give it a try?

Beyond that, if the millennials are not able to follow your direction, give them feedback on that deficiency. If they are not communicating appropriately, let them know and include that feedback in their performance appraisals.



Hello Lynn,

I am an design engineer working for international projects in a small consulting firm. My problem is that whenever my boss receives a workload, he forwards it to me without notifying (CC) our clients, and whenever he sends the output back to clients, he almost always speaks in singular first person ("I", "me") despite the fact that it is really me who did about 100% of the job. Is that normal and ok?


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello LM,

That sounds like a frustrating situation. You're not getting acknowledgment for your work, at least from clients. But what's normal and okay varies from place to place.

I suggest you talk with your boss about this. If appropriate, tell him that you would like to build relationships with clients--for your own professional development and growth within the firm and for a cohesive approach to client projects. Being recognized as the design engineer on projects would help build those relationships.

Whatever the outcome of the conversation, be sure to keep your own notes of the projects you are completing, and add projects to your resume when you update it.

I'd love to know what happens.



Hi Lynn,

My principal copied me an email that he wrote to a high profile client and added a PS stating that he would like to introduce the two of us.

How do I respond and do I copy the client?



Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Rudoc,

The easiest and safest step is to ask your principal how he would like you to respond. Ask him in person, by phone, or in email. In email, do not copy the client; this is a private communication.

If, in fact, your principal was introducing you in the email, as in "I would like to introduce you to Rudoc, who is copied on this email. He is . . . " you can consider yourself introduced. You would then write directly to the client, copying your principal so that he knows you have responded to the introduction.

Good luck!



Thank you very much for the advice Lynn.



Hello Lynn,
could you please clarify one thing regarding CC salutation for me?

Should I salute CC persons together with the TO persons?
If yes, which form would be the most appropriate?

Thank you in advance.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Magdalena,

No, you do not greet people who receive a CC. They are merely receiving a copy of the message.



Hi Lynn my partner and I are setting up a charity and part of our work includes making approaches to a network of contacts and in some instances high profile people to introduce the charity and ask for help and feedback. Obviously we do not send joint correspondence but agree who will contact whom. When I make an email approach introducing ourselves and our project I always copy my partner in via cc as courtesy so that he is in the loop on the ensuing conversation. My partner does not do this and I have to ask all the time for updates on whether someone has been approached/responded/how interested they were/do we need to do anything/meet/Phone etc. He is not deliberately leaving me out of the loop but as an equal business partner on a new venture I feel it is so helpful to be copied in to gauge the tone of a persons response, have a record of conversation between us as the charity and them generally to just feel informed rather than in the dark unless I specifically ask for each bit of information (have you heard back? What did they say? Etc etc) My partner does not see the need for me to see email correspondence even though it equally concerns me and our venture and people we will be meeting together. It is very frustrating!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Nicky, your partner's behavior is frustrating and impractical. If you are partners, you both need the information. If he is away for any reason, how will you be able to maintain the charity? Also, the people you approach should know that there are two of you in partnership.



I was dealing with a client and knew I would be away for a couple of days and my boss asked if he could handle things between my client while I was away. I of course said yes. On my return my boss filled me in on what happened but at no point did he cc me on the emails he had sent. Should I be offended? Did he do the wrong thing. He says there was nothing I missed but I think its the principle. I would like your opinion on this please.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Fran,

Your boss made an odd choice, but maybe it was no choice at all--perhaps he didn't think about it at the time.

It's frustrating. Because he didn't copy you, you do not have a record of the communication. That puts you at a disadvantage in terms of following up with the client. But it's possible that there really was nothing significant in the emails.

Don't be offended. Instead, when you take a vacation next time, ask anyone who is handling your work to copy or Bcc you on email. That way you will feel confident about your client communications.


Belinda Carpenter

I work for a financial investment company and I would like to know how to share information with clients via email.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Belinda,

Your company should have a policy about this issue.

My financial investment company sends me a confidential message that requires my login credentials; then I read the information securely online.



Dear Lynn,
Is there any protocol in email messaging that one should not mark copy to the subordinates of the person whom you addressed the mail. I have never found such an instruction so far. I would appreciate your advice.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Sankar,

Generally, you would not copy the employees of someone you are addressing. If you wanted the employees to know about the topic, you would ask the supervisor to forward the message to them.

However, in different situations, you might develop a different agreement with the supervisor.

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your comment.



I am a social work supervisor with dual reporting lines to a non social worker and social worker by profession. Often my non social worker manager will email the social workers who reports to me but will cc me in. At times I will respond because I have knowledge of the case but in consultation with the social worker. Do I indicate in the email I have consulted and if it is just a curtousy email am I ethically bind to do anything other than to be informed

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Jessica,

I am sorry that I do not understand your question. It sounds specific to your situation; for that reason, I would talk with your managers about it.




My boss wrote to the HOD a very nasty email and lies about my performance. Should I counter him or just keep silent as if I have not received the email?


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello Dev,

You should definitely not keep silent. The lies about your performance are now in writing, and they need to be countered.

Not knowing how things are structured where you work, I can only guess about the next step. You might request a meeting with your boss and the head of the department (HOD?). At that meeting you might present information in writing to the two individuals. After the meeting you would summarize what happened and be sure your summary is part of the history.

Good luck!


rohit aggarwal

thanks for the information

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)