Email Etiquette – When Will We Ever Learn?

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lip piercingOne of my favorite TV show is NCIS. My attraction is more to the characters than the plot. I am particularly fascinated with Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his 50 or so “rules.” In case you do not know, Rule #1 is “Never let suspects stay together.” That has nothing to do with email etiquette, but everything to do with Ramsey’s Rules, particularly Ramsey’s Rules of Etiquette.

Ramsey’s Rule #1 of Email Etiquette: “Never put in an email anything that you could not bear to hear or see on the national news the next day.”

It seems that this error is not one that is limited to the rank and file office worker. It is an issue for people in high places. If you’ve been paying attention to the national news lately, you know what I am talking about.

No matter your position or your pay grade, your email is not exempt from worldwide exposure.

So let me remind you once again to never put anything in an email that you are not willing to have viewed across the globe. You never know when your email might be hacked or when some co-worker might be looking for a bit of revenge.  Whatever the case, you will ultimately pay the price.

What is the solution? If you have something private, controversial or confidential to share, stay away from the Internet. Pick up the phone or arrange a private meeting.

Bonus rule: Never send an email when you are angry, upset or inebriated. Once it leaves your inbox, it will live until eternity.

More information on email etiquette is available in my best-selling book, Manners That Sell. For a quick read, I have published an article on “The Top Twelve Email Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career.”

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-598-9812. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

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