e-etiquette and e-boundaries

The professional setting of boundaries is addressed in the following two additions to an evolving set of guidelines for our email-mediated interactions (http://ptaylor.wikispaces.umb.edu/E-etiquette):

1. If someone cc’s you on matters that you are not party to or are outside your area of authority, send a polite email asking to be left off further emails in this matter, e.g., “Work is busy at the moment, so I’d be grateful not to be cc’d on matters that I’m not party to.  Let me know if you want to talk about this request of mine.”  (If the someone inappropriately cc’s again, repeat the reply with the hope that eventually they set professional e-boundaries.)

2. If someone emails or cc’s you in ways that are “un-etiquettal” or uncollegial, especially disparaging a colleague, firmly—but always politely—let them know that you prefer not to get emails about matters that have an emotional charge or are fueled by a history that you haven’t been party to.

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see bit.ly/pjtaylor). He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (bit.ly/tbhblog)

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