With every e-mail that I send, I know that it could be forwarded to others without my knowledge. Even though you should never forward an e-mail sent to you to a third-party without the original Sender’s permission, the fact is people do it all the time.
What you forward and how, speaks volumes about you as a person.
- If you forward one person’s e-mail to another especially in business to play one against the other is simply unprofessional. If you have questions for one contact based on another’s concerns, type a new e-mail and address those concerns. Don’t forward without the other party’s knowledge with a “See what they say?” tone. This just reflects a lack of respect for either potential partner and your extremely low-level of professionalism.
- If you forward personal e-mails from one friend to another without the original Sender’s permission to say “Can you believe this?”, you are a not a friend — shame on you.
- If you forward jokes, silly forwards, or political commentary to everyone in your address book simply because you want to — you are narcissistic. E-mail is not all about what you want to do alone. If the forward doesn’t call for you typing a personal note to the person you are forwarding to because it applies to them, don’t bother forwarding. Your contacts will appreciate this extra effort and not miss all your do-good, feel-good e-mails.
- If you forward without comment, you come of as terse, rude and demanding. What do you think it says about a person who cannot take the time to type a Hello, add a brief instruction and/or a TIA? Bossy and discourteous?
- If you forward e-mails that are not right for the work place and think that by putting NSFW (Not Safe For Work) in the subject takes you off the hook — it doesn’t. Doing so anyway shows you have no respect for your job and employer or that of whom you are sending to. Nice…
Every effort you make online, or feel is unnecessary to make will determine what others think of you. Think very carefully about how, what, when and who you forward to. Your reputation and relationships are literally at stake.