Consider Using the W.A.I.T Approach When Responding to Email


Marketing Manager

In a Leadercast Now video by Juliet Funt she discusses email etiquette and the frequent issue of people using “Reply All” or “CC” out of habit.  She joked that some people “add every single human-being onto every CC and Reply All” when emailing. 

She suggested using a technique called WAIT which stands for:

  • Whose 
  • Action 
  • I
  • This

She points out that proper email should be a request for action not a request for observation.  She believes many people CC others to either show off to their boss, for CYA purposes or they are just cc’ing out of habit for no clear reason at all.

Next time you compose an email, carefully consider if CC’s or Reply All’s are really necessary.  Ask yourself – does everyone on the email need to see my response or is it really only important to the person who sent you the message? 

Example: If someone is asking whether you are free for a meeting on a specific date and time but sends the email to a group of five people … the only person that really needs to know if you are free is the sender, not the other five recipients. The sender has requested the meeting and is gathering information from the group on dates/times that are best.  The others do not need to know your availability – just the sender who is coordinating the meeting needs the information.   

Use everyone’s time wisely and only CC or Reply All if there is truly an action that is required by those being copied or replied to.  Carefully consider if everyone you are cc’ing or replying all to really “need the info” as an FYI.  

Email can be very overwhelming – consider the WAIT approach as you review and respond to emails moving ahead.  It may save you and your coworkers time and time is very valuable!

Image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay