To copy his wife into email?

(33 Posts)
greengrasshut Fri 07-May-21 01:41:40

This week I received an email from a leader in a charity I volunteer at. It was an email sent to a group of us, asking for feedback on a particular issue.

I would like to copy in his wife (who is also a leader in the charity and would be interested in the feedback - they will definitely discuss the results with each other to make decisions going forward) when I reply to him, not because there’s anything inappropriate or because I don’t trust him, but because I know her better and feel I could be more honest/open in my feedback if the email was also sent to her. There is one point in particular that I don’t feel I could raise if I just send the email to the husband.

Would it be ok to copy her in?

OP’s posts: |
Monty27 Tue 11-May-21 01:50:34

IMHO OP you don't involve a 3rd party to an email unless they work for you

emilyfrost Sat 08-May-21 03:43:29

NoSquirrels

*@greengrasshut* but unless the feedback is something about the male director’s behaviour in some way, then why can’t you raise it? It really does sound like you don’t trust him to react appropriately to it, but you say in your post that’s not it (trust or inappropriateness). A d he asked specifically for yours and others’ feedback on a particular issue. So any feedback related to that issue is what he needs to hear.

This.

It’s just not appropriate to copy her in.

NoSquirrels Fri 07-May-21 22:49:42

And the thing is that because they are married it does seem more pointed to make sure she’s included. As I said, I’d be very puzzled if a male colleague of mine cc’ed my husband on an issue I’d requested feedback on. I’d be puzzled if I wasn’t married to him, but I’d take it more personally if I was, if you see what I mean.

I really think if you really want to raise something with her as well then you need to say something like ‘Thanks for asking - it’s timely because I do have thoughts and I’d considered raising something in particular with X (wife) - would it be OK to bring her into the discussion too?’

NoSquirrels Fri 07-May-21 22:43:34

@greengrasshut but unless the feedback is something about the male director’s behaviour in some way, then why can’t you raise it? It really does sound like you don’t trust him to react appropriately to it, but you say in your post that’s not it (trust or inappropriateness). A d he asked specifically for yours and others’ feedback on a particular issue. So any feedback related to that issue is what he needs to hear.

greengrasshut Fri 07-May-21 20:59:35

Thanks for the responses.

I asked not because she's his wife - in fact it didn't actually occur to me that that could be an issue, so I definitely wasn't thinking that way! - but because I would feel more comfortable raising this particular point in the presence of another female. It just so happens that the two most senior leaders are married, but I would have felt the same way had the senior leadership team not had any type of relationship beyond the organisation. The only reason I even mentioned she was his wife was because that's how I know them both, and I wouldn't have said it had it occurred to me that it could, without this context, seem problematic.

OP’s posts: |
SchrodingersImmigrant Fri 07-May-21 09:38:12

AnUnoriginalUsername

I think if it was reversed it would be a big no.

DH and I run a company together. If I was dealing with something and a male customer/employee/dealer/whatever felt the need to add my husband to the conversation I'd think it very rude and as though they felt they were going over my head, like I can't handle it as well as him.

They have obviously agreed its something for him to do, you then assigning it to his wife because you think she's better suited comes across poorly I think.

Exactly.

What you can do is to say "I also have feedback about x but I would be more comfortable sharing it with ---, if it would be possible".

Though I am not sure what the feedback is that cannot be shared with the leader

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AnUnoriginalUsername Fri 07-May-21 09:36:07

I think if it was reversed it would be a big no.

DH and I run a company together. If I was dealing with something and a male customer/employee/dealer/whatever felt the need to add my husband to the conversation I'd think it very rude and as though they felt they were going over my head, like I can't handle it as well as him.

They have obviously agreed its something for him to do, you then assigning it to his wife because you think she's better suited comes across poorly I think.

formynexttrick Fri 07-May-21 09:26:49

DramaAlpaca

I'd copy her in, and in the body of the email say 'I'm copying X in as I know she has a particular interest in Y'.

This is perfect.

KarmaStar Fri 07-May-21 08:27:37

Overstep

KarmaStar Fri 07-May-21 08:27:14

No.As what you are effectively saying is you don't think he's made the right decision excluding his wife and that you know better.Don't overstep the mark,be professional.

UserAtRandom Fri 07-May-21 08:15:55

If you're wanting to copy her in on the basis that, as another leader in the group, you think the feedback is valid for her to see, I think that's fine. However, I would most likely email the person who sent you the request in the first place and say "I think we should in include A in this because xyz reasons" and see what he says. He might well say something like "I'm just collating the feedback first and then it will be circulated to all leaders".

If you're copying her in, solely because she's his wife, that's not appropriate.

HeadNorth Fri 07-May-21 08:00:34

DramaAlpaca

I'd copy her in, and in the body of the email say 'I'm copying X in as I know she has a particular interest in Y'.

This is what I would do. If I am going to copy someone into a reply that did not receive the original email, I would always explain my rationale for doing so in the body of the email. This is a transparent and professional way to proceed and the norm in my workplace.

ElphabaTWitch Fri 07-May-21 07:53:44

Why? She didn’t ask. He did.

C8H10N4O2 Fri 07-May-21 07:53:08

Feedback on an issue relating to him or to a policy of the charity?

If the mail is relevant to his wife/colleague/whoever then copy them in with a comment "adding X as their knowledge of Y is relevant here".

Why do you feel uncomfortable raising the same issue with the person who actually asked for feedback?

FortunesFave Fri 07-May-21 07:50:38

DeathStare

I think if you removed the word "wife" from your post and just referred to her as "the other leader" it would sound less controversial. The fact she's his wife is irrelevant.

Definitely copy in the other leader if you think its appropriate

This. The fact they are married has nothing to do with anything.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 07-May-21 07:33:30

not because there’s anything inappropriate or because I don’t trust him

There is one point in particular that I don’t feel I could raise if I just send the email to the husband

Sounds very odd to be honest. He has directly asked for your feedback. Why wouldn't you provide it without using his wife as a buffer?

NoSquirrels Fri 07-May-21 07:25:59

If I asked for feedback on something at work, gathering information, and someone then copied in a colleague before I’d had a chance to read, digest, and then collate the feedback for discussion, I would find that odd.

It’s not the same as cc’ing someone for operational reasons (Susan needs to complete next task, Jane needs to know delivery date to book in, Priya is better placed to answer question).

I’d feel like you didn’t trust me in this situation if you cc’ed my husband because you ‘knew him better’.

SaltAndVinegarSandwiches Fri 07-May-21 07:20:01

If they're going to discuss it anyway I really don't see why you can't just give honest feedback without copying her in? It seems an odd thing to do.

NoSquirrels Fri 07-May-21 07:19:21

not because there’s anything inappropriate or because I don’t trust him, but because I know her better and feel I could be more honest/open in my feedback if the email was also sent to her. There is one point in particular that I don’t feel I could raise if I just send the email to the husband.

This is odd. He’s asked for your honest feedback, you have no trust issues with him, and he’d still be the recipient of the information even if you copied on someone else. I think you should examine what is causing you discomfort about this.

Additionally- if it’s something sensitive that needs raising, you have always had the opportunity to raise it to the female director (his wife), so why haven’t you before now?

I don’t think it’s wildly inappropriate if you used the right language to explain but if it happened to me I’d be a bit peeved and mostly puzzled.

paniniswapx3 Fri 07-May-21 07:15:03

I'd copy her in too as she's another leader in the group and presumably also interested. I wouldn't even think twice - I copy people into emails all the time if what I'm sending is relevant to them or I mention their name in the email.

Willow1233 Fri 07-May-21 07:13:53

I wouldn’t. He didn’t copy her in for a reason, once you’ve sent your reply maybe he’ll see a reason to copy her in future emails. As he sent the first email to you he selected who he wanted involved. When people do this to me at work it makes me feel like I’m not capable which isn’t the case, I just end up thinking they’re a knob blushgrin

RachelRaven Fri 07-May-21 07:10:59

I ask my dh to deal with things when ive mo headspace, so this would annoy me.

CastleCrasher Fri 07-May-21 07:08:38

Are they the only leaders? If not, are the others copied in shady, or do you plan to copy them in? I think this is relevant, as is whether the reason you want to copy her in is because she's a leader, his wife or female

emilyfrost Fri 07-May-21 07:01:25

No, it’s not okay to copy her in. It would be really inappropriate.

DeathStare Fri 07-May-21 03:47:57

I think if you removed the word "wife" from your post and just referred to her as "the other leader" it would sound less controversial. The fact she's his wife is irrelevant.

Definitely copy in the other leader if you think its appropriate

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