Posted Monday July 11th, 2011, 9:30 am by Dr Monica Seeley
Email etiquette – is it right to reprimand your future daughter in-law by email as in the latest email media disaster? In my opinion no on two accounts.
First, it was the wrong communications channel. Such messages should always be communicated by talking (whether they relate either to personal or work matters). Once you put something like this in an email and hit send you put down a marker which cannot be erased. Barriers are created and the tone of the relationship set. There is no such thing as ‘recalling’ an email because even if it was sent back the chances are the recipient read it before it was returned. This was very poor email etiquette.
Second, to me the content was rude, arrogant and dismissive. All of which creates as the media said the image of a ‘mother in-law from hell’. Is that how she wanted to be portrayed?
This underscores just how quickly and easily such emails go viral and create an email disaster. If the future mother in-law really could not bring herself to speak to her future daughter in-law an alternative would be a letter. This would not have gone viral quite so easily.
There is now a follow-up story which suggests it was all a publicity stunt to promote their business. However, this too represents appalling behaviour and creates a very unprofessional image. Furthermore such email hoaxes just drive up the email carbon footprint.
Good email etiquette is one of the keys to relationships between both individuals and businesses.
In my opinion this was the wrong use of email on all accounts. What’s your opinion?