Why CC Doesn’t Work and What to Do About It

July 19, 2019

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What CC actually stands for

It is an abbreviation for a carbon copy, which was the under-copy of a typed or written document placed over carbon paper and the under-copy sheet itself.

When copies of business letters were made like this, it was customary to use the acronym “CC” or “cc” before a colon and below the writer’s signature to inform the principal recipient that carbon copies had been made and distributed to the parties listed after the colon.

CC Today

Therefore, Cc was used as a merely formal indication of the distribution of letters to secondary recipients. This was simply transferred to email communication, for the copy of a note sent to an addressee other than the main one.

Does your company generate unnecessary, ineffective, and primarily unread messages? We are sure that the answer is YES, and that most of these are sent as a cc or a bcc.

Of course, most of those CC-addicted coworkers will say that it is a handy option that keeps people in the loop. And that there is no other solution when you want a specific colleague to know what’s going on.

To CC or not to CC?

However, we are way in the 21st century and, believe it or not, this is not the best way to keep your co-workers informed. Before we reveal what are your alternatives, let’s see what exactly is wrong with cc-ing someone all the time.

Of course, the first thing that comes to our mind is how your recipient has to read through the entire message, if not a dozen of them, to figure out why they got it in the first place. Make sure, some of them will still be clueless about it, even after they read the whole correspondence. That is – if they read it at all. Mainly because the message which is not addressed directly to them, will probably not be of such high interest. But usually not deleted, but moved to a reference folder, or marked as unread but kept it in their inbox. Does the word CLUTTER fit in just fine in this scenario? You bet it does.

A potential mess

The problem with CC is that you more often than not haven’t met your objective by sending it to one of your colleagues. They won’t even read past the headline. And when you CC your boss, figuring that this will give him an opportunity to correct you if she doesn’t agree with your course of action, know that this doesn’t absolve you of responsibility.

And also have in mind that CC’d individuals mostly feel they do not need to DO anything in response to the email. They only need to know about it.

Even if they do reply, recognize that cc-ing your supervisor or other co-workers on the email is likely to cause anyone who replies to your email to cc them too. Do you really need all those emails? Don’t you all have enough work the way it is?

So, to clear the air, we’ll try here to imagine your FAQ. And to answer those, of course.

Question 1: If I don’t cc my boss or other team members, how will I keep them informed? 

First of all, sit down and think hard about how much information they really need. Sometimes you can really do a constructive job with simply sending a summary email or periodic updates.

In other word, just update them as needed.

Question 2: If I receive an email on which people are copied, do I reply to all of them? 

This is a tricky one. Let’s suppose that you somehow decipher and understand why are you included, that surely doesn’t mean that you know all the others from CC or even the reason they are all included. If you have it all clear (we applaud you) go ahead and CC them all – you only live once.

But, remember, it is not your job to reply blindly to strangers. Email initiator should say either “Please reply to all” or “Please respond to me only.” Also, he should explain why people are being added to the Cc line.

Sound “simple” and “not-at-all-waste-of-time”, right?

Question 3: My boss wants to be copied on every email I send to clients. It sure feels like a lack of confidence. What can I do?

First of all, this will suggest to clients that you are a junior employee who must be closely supervised, no matter what your position is. Second of all, this will encourage most of them to answer directly to your boss and not you, which can cause some serious time waste.

We understand that supervisors are called so for being paid to supervise, but do you know that there is a better solution to this? No?

Keep reading then.

Question 4: When I should NOT cc at all? 

Just follow this essential rule: You should only cc people when they must have or should have the information. Or skip CC-ing. For that, have just a bit more patience and we’ll show you a better way.

Question 5: How can I make people CC me less often without making them think I don’t care for their input?

For starters, why not have a group meeting to discuss your email standards? Sometimes a bit of communication goes a long way and can keep everyone on the same page.

And while at it, why not use technology to its best advantage?

We made Teodesk and all its features extremely intuitive and easy to use, and this gives you an easy solution for keeping track of all the communication happening in your team.

What exactly is the Teodesk Emailing System?

Teodesk is the first software that has email fully integrated within its workboards. This allows users to have transparent communication, organized in a structured way and with responsibility clearly delegated.

How does it provide transparent communication?

When there are many people in a team (plus the clients and the stakeholders), information and communication tracking is far from easy and simple. Instead of remembering to CC someone on that email stream so that they know the history – It’s right there on the task.

Teodesk workboards look similar to a Kanban board that is accessible to all team members that need to be kept in the loop.

When everyone knows what the other team members are doing, work just flows better. You can organize your communication any way you like. You can have stages that regard to certain clients, date ranges, as well as phases in your processes or projects.

By clicking on one of the tasks all of this information will be available to you:

Sending email is as simple as with any other email service provider. However, the benefit lies in the fact that many more information can be stored within a task, not just the mail.

What is the overall result of using the Teodesk System?

Full email data consistency within the system speeds up the communication process. Every email, whether received or sent, is managed directly on your board and by only one tool. This leads to full data consistency within each transaction, all in one place. It simplifies and speeds up the connection through emails, directly on the page.

With Teodesk Emailing System, you can expect growth in productivity, improvement in your team collaboration while, at the same time, you get full transparency in the workflow.

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