If you have to use BCC, it’s already too late!

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20th December 2015
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2nd February 2016

Blind carbon copy (BCC) on emails should never have been invented.

I make it a principle never to use BCC in emails. BCC is the king of passive aggressive behaviour. In my opinion using BCC is duplicitous and underhand, and it shows a huge lack of integrity.

Ask yourself, why are you letting someone in on the conversation without telling the person you’re conversing with? Why are you letting someone spy on your recipient? Why can’t you use CC? Why can’t you tell the recipient that someone else has joined the conversation? What are you trying to hide?

As soon as you use BCC in your email, you’ve resorted to playing politics in that particular relationship. You’re breeding mistrust. Playing games. And you will become as much a victim of the culture your engendering as the person whom you are using it on.

Just don’t do it. It’s cowardly.

More importantly, I think using BCC is usually just a symptom of bigger issue. A larger cultural problem in your organisation or relationship. If you’re having to use BCC in your emails there has already been breakdown of trust which needs addressing, long before this particular email.

Instead of sending an email with BCC why not figure out what the real issue is and try to find a solution. Stop writing your email and think about where it all went wrong. Solve the real problem instead – go and restore the relationship.

And never use BCC again!

Do you use BCC? In what context? Is it a symptom of a bigger problem or are there legitimate reasons to use it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Benjamin Drury
Benjamin Drury
A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Helping entrepreneurs be brilliant! Building cultures and environments that inspire people to be great! Uber geek, author, experience designer & culture builder. Husband of 1, father of 3, real ale lover, rugby watcher, 49ers fan. (Also drinks lots of tea!)

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