Suppose you saw an email containing a mistake sent out to the whole company. Would you send a clarification via “Reply all”?
Most of us wouldn’t because it would seem as though we are shaming the person publicly.
But what is there to be ashamed of when it is just a simple mistake? Doesn’t everyone make mistakes?
Furthermore, if we were to send it to the sender directly, he/she probably receive many other emails informing of the same thing because no one knows that this has been addressed. Imagine one person taking five minutes, then multiply that by 10. How about 50?
I grew up during a time when students are publicly caned. I was one of them. I think I can understand how it feels like to be publicly shamed and I am mindful of it.
Today, we have moved away from that, because we do not want to emotionally scar someone due to public shaming. But there is an optimal middle ground.
If we were to move too much away and cultivate a culture where one’s face is above everything else, even learning, would this be good culture?
Instead of just saying that we should not embarrass people, we should also embrace mistakes.
So, the next time I make a mistake, if there are truly necessities and merits to it and your intentions are pure, do feel free to “Reply all”.
For the rest, do consider BCC.
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