I sent him an email and put the boss on cc just to make sure he responded.
Heard that line?
It is a game we learnt and played as children. “I’ll tell mommy if you do that!” or “If you tell Dad, I will find and make your life miserable!” Children have to play this game. Massive power differentials exist between children of different ages and so an adult is required to restore balance.
As an adult we continue to play the game with more sophisticated language. “I thought you should know what was happening”, “I need to keep you in the loop”. Sophisticated or not it’s a game that we should have left in our childhood.
It plays on possible insecurities between a manager and their direct report and assumes that people are hiding information.
In a healthy environment priorities are agreed and understood across the organisation. A cc will not change the priority.
In a healthy environment existing mechanisms exist to track and respond to missed objectives or quality issues.
In a healthy environment, information is widely shared, managers are kept informed through well established and efficient channels. Strong managers build and respect open and collaborative sharing and will shun quiet, on the side conversations.
In a healthy environment direct reports will know exactly where they stand with their manager, both the good and the bad. They will be confident in that relationship and so the threat of a cc will have no impact.
In a healthy environment the organisation encourages a lower volume of higher quality email. The use of a cc in any email is frowned upon.
In a healthy organisation, people don’t engage in CC Wars.