Common email blundersOh, how easy it is to get into trouble using email. Too hasty. Too familiar. Too temperamental. In the workplace particularly, just a few words with the wrong content sent to the wrong person at the wrong time can leave you on the wrong side of the employment fence. U.S. News & World Report recently listed 18 email blunders that could cause you a world of woe.

The email mistakes fall into six categories;

Haste and Carelessness

This begins with not carefully reading the email chain of posts that have already circulated. It culminates with sending out messages that you haven't really completed, spell checked and added on the appropriate attachments. You have double-checked that you didn't hit reply all, didn't you?Misjudging the Tone

What might read to you as sarcasm could well be a serious comment (sarcasm doesn't come through well on emails, even with emoticons ;-) ), and your lighthearted response could land you on the street.

Letting Your Emotions Rule Your Good Judgment

How many times have you been tempted to fire off a flame to someone you believe has wronged you? Breathe deep, take a moment and back away from the keyboard. It could save your job.

The same goes for the forward button: use it with restraint. Many people seem willing to forward material they would never send out under their own name, and the recipient isn't going to understand the subtle difference. Magnify this danger by 100 fold if the content is sexual.

Breaking Protocol

Your company probably has a policy about emails, and you violate it at your own risk. Common courtesy is also a part of protocol, which means, among other things, that you learn how to use blind carbon copy (bcc) instead of revealing all of the email addresses copied in your message to anyone seeing the message.

Depending Too Much on Email

It's a convenience, and a godsend for shy people, but not everyone lives for their next email message. If the message is urgent, email is a poor substitute for a call or a personal visit.

Forgetting That Email Is Forever

At one time, email was the casual alternative to a letter. Now, however, text messaging is the casual alternative to an email, which has come to serve as the more formal message, one that becomes part of the "paper" trail that has already brought down many executives. Don't be one of them.

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