Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

etiquette for recipient list in email

November 15, 2009
Email has revolutionized our way of communication. And we have learned formulas and etiquette to write salutations, professional or daily emails, email signatures (WiseStamp), benefits of subject.

We most of the time need to send email to more than one recipients, we create groups, or tend to add recipient email addresses. Many time I received email which the sender sent to other recipients including me. For example invitation to party, plan for going out, or news/event of something important. I always tend to notice the order my email address specified in the TO box. Somewhere this is the way I consider the order of my importance among other persons. Even when I used to send email, and if it happens that I have to send email to my supervisor among my friendly colleagues then I tend to specify the email address of my supervisor firstly. Even I also used to specify the email addresses in the order I feel importance of recipients or sometime I take revenge to the same person by mentioning his email address at the end.

Is this evil or good? Is this anything important to consider? I always followed this attitude whenever I receive group email or send email and tried to hide from all. One day my friend mentioned that he was listening some radio talk show about this issue of ordering email recipients. Then I figured out that I am not all alone in this world, and let it be acknowledged.

Now point is how to behave well and solve this problem in a more acceptable and ethical way. One most important ordering algorithm is to sort by alphabetic order. It worked when in my college we do team course projects, on time-sheet in office, title of book with coauthor names and many other places. So lets order alphabetically and get rid of this evil.

Everyday we all need our well-being increase to let us walk in life optimistically. May be with this small change we can relieve many people of that couple of seconds of frustration and judgment. There may be many places where specific order is required especially emailing in office to boss, or may be diplomatic emails. But if it is not the case then why should not we make alphabetic ordered list. Let us call this E for R (Etiquette for Recipient list).

And now I really demand a feature from all email applications to develop a feature of alphabetic ordering of recipient list. I have learned that as we are adding years in our life we are becoming more sophisticated. And our ways of social interactions are becoming more accessible, remote and more virtual reality. And there is growing burden to develop a sense of responsibility and etiquettes to be more acceptable and polite in versatile society.

Useful links:

Never be a Communication Coward


Ethics of Group Discussions

October 30, 2009

After having experience of group discussions in my life, I always realize something is missing. The most important point that we all need to learn and master; its the ethics and rules to follow in group discussion. Even normal topics that are not sensitive; still they can be dragged to disagreement and hard talk. We all have natural tendency to be defensive and egoistic, so be careful in group discussions. Following are the golden & ethical rules of group discussion (they do not apply to all group discussions for example, office meeting):


  • We should respect each others opinion.
  • You must be a good listener.
  • Do not laugh unless participant is making a joke.
  • Never blame participants. For example, You do not understand. You have not learned. You are wrong. You are so ignorant. Your thinking is negative.
  • Be respectful to all participants.
  • No personal attacks on a person’s intelligence, background, way of speaking, etc. Ref1
  • Give respect to other participants by listening carefully others no matter how hard it is for you to digest it. Remember your stomach is weak thats your problem.

Equal Rights:

  • Allow participants to express completely.
  • Do not think you are intelligent, or who knows more and have better understand, do not bet it.
  • Speak with facts and reasoning.
  • Out of Line Comments: “That’s a dumb idea;” “You don’t know what you’re talking about;” “It figures a man/woman would say that”. Ref1
  • Speak on your turn.
  • Be polite, humble and accepting.

Positive behavior:

  • Do not be emotional, remember everyone is emotional being.
  • Behave rationally.
  • Raise your hand if you have to say something.
  • Speak on your turn.
  • Do not yell.


  • There is high possibility of disagreement. Again follow you do not have to impose your opinion.
  • Enjoy diversity, differences and complexity of topic.
  • You can disagree in a polite way. For example, What I think so, this is true in that way.
  • You do not necessarily have to accept others opinion, but you have to listen how others perceive differently.
  • You donot have to impose your point of view, you have to just express and explain your point of view.
  • Allow every participant to express his opinion.
  • When you disagree with someone, make sure that you make a difference between criticizing someones idea and the person themselves. Ref2