Golden Rule

Email has an ability many channels don’t: Creating valuable, personal touches – At scale -David Newman

I am going to tell you a story about three people in a corporate jungle – Tom, Dick and Harry (Cliche! I know!). Tom is a good guy trying to maintain good relationships with people almost bordering on the people-pleaser level. Tom and Dick had few healthy issues earlier which was sorted out in a professional way. Dick had an erratic behavior. His intentions were good but his actions used to put off people sometimes. There was no issue for the good part of the year with either of them. Harry works in a different department but works closely with both Tom and Dick. They had mutual respect for each other.

One day, while discussing an issue, Harry sent an email to some wider audience. Tom felt that certain parts of the email did not put his team in good light and so raised the concern through an email to Dick. His intention was to raise the concern and explain the scenario so that Dick has a clearer picture.  So, Tom sent an email only to Dick as he did not want to create a big scene out of it.  However, Dick looped in Harry in that email and asked everyone to discuss directly. This put Tom on a spot and he felt awkward talking to Harry about it.

Now who is at fault here? Is it Harry for sending the email to a wider audience without discussing with the concerned team? Is it Tom for raising concern about Harry’s email without keeping him in the loop? Or is it Dick who forwarded the email to Harry which was supposed to be only for his view? Everybody’s intentions seem to be genuine but somehow the relationship may have strained a little bit.

I learnt a valuable lesson from this story:

Do not write in the email what should never be forwarded


One thought on “Golden Rule

  1. Good point. My father used to be fond of quoting this: “Two things can never be recalled, the spoken word and the sped arrow.” Now, in the age of email, we can make it three things!

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