An E-Mail Message with Strings Attached
An e-mail message should be given the same respect as a letter. That means:
It should not be copied or show to others unless it is clear that the sender would have no objection or there is some extraordinary circumstance that applies, such as a health issue.
I've noticed this rule is usually breached via a response. A writes to B and B responds but copies C despite the fact that A may not have wanted C in on the exchange.
This can be a defensive strategy. I recall emailing a question to a manager and purposely not copying the manager's boss because I didn't want to appear to be putting pressure on the person. Back came the reply with the manager's boss copied.
My reaction was twofold: Irritation that the boss had been involved on a minor matter and curiosity about whether the employee was afraid to send a simple response without copying the boss. Perhaps the copying was a requirement; a possibility that does not speak well of the boss.
Have you noticed this practice? Do you think the person sending the response even considers the significance of bringing another person into the loop?