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In my boss's recent email to me, he CC'ed someone who will be working with me in the future and asked me to connect with him.

I am wondering what the proper workplace etiquette would be for reaching out to this person.

  1. Reply to all thanking my boss for the introduction and arranging a time to meet with this person.
  2. Reply only to this person to arrange a future meeting?

Or is there another way which I have not listed that would be better than those two?

1
  • @Erik Unless Joe answers it, in which case his is always the best answer Feb 17 at 14:47
65

There is nothing wrong, per se with either approach.

Personally, I would do a "reply all" first, then send a second email to the individual.

So, first mail:

Thank you Boss, for the introduction, and welcome (Coworker). (Coworker), I will be reaching out to you personally so that we may become better acquainted, and arrange a meeting to discuss working together.

Then, second email

(Insert greeting here) (Coworker).

I am YumekaMengjiaLYU, your new coworker. As I mentioned in my email to Boss and you previously, I would like to set up a meeting so that we may discuss our future working relationship. Is there a time/place that is convenient to you?

(Insert signature)

Not word for word, but something in this vein

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Feb 18 at 13:32
27

Let's say your boss is Betty and your new contact is Dave. A clever and efficient approach called the "BCC Switcheroo" is described here:

“Great to meet you, Dave!” you write. “Let’s definitely get together to talk about world domination. Betty, thanks for introducing us—I’m moving you to BCC so you don’t need to read all our scheduling emails.”

That is, you send your reply email with your boss on "blind carbon copy" (BCC). In this way, you can thank them and they know that you are following through. Yet this also automatically removes your boss from any subsequent messages, even if your new contact uses Reply All, because the email does not contain your boss's address as a recipient. All of this is accomplished with one email, rather than two as in Old_Lamplighter's answer.

Sometimes BCC is considered sneaky, but that does not apply here because you are explicitly noting in the email who is on BCC and why.

Your question addresses a scenario that is frequent and challenging enough that it was precisely the motivation of the article linked above, discussing this solution in detail.

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    I didn't vote but one possible reason that comes to mind is that this answer lacks explanation for why this way is considered "clever and efficient" (and by the way, readers aren't supposed to click the obscure link nor drill into comments to find such explanation - it is normally expected to be part of the answer)
    – gnat
    Feb 17 at 6:22
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    Downvoted because it seems a little bit too clever for my taste. It assumes that both the boss and the colleague are very aware of what Bcc does. IMO it would be much more straightforward, natural and "normal" to send two mails - one to Dave+Betty, the other only to Dave. The simple fact that you have to explain what you're doing, thus writing about email functions etc., instead about welcoming your colleague, would likely be distracting to a manager-type boss.
    – AnoE
    Feb 17 at 15:46
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    This is established practise in many companies and is the correct answer. I get multiple emails like this per week. Two emails is inefficient and the manager is unlikely to read the reply anyway.
    – Colin
    Feb 17 at 16:22
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    @AnoE: It depends on the workplace. At my workplace (Google), "foo@ to BCC" is a completely standard practice whenever foo@ doesn't need to see further emails in the chain (regardless of whether foo@ is an individual or a whole mailing list).
    – Kevin
    Feb 17 at 22:37
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    @Kevin: fine by my, I assume that it's nomal in nanoman's company as well, or he wouldn't have posted it. For my company (an IT company, nonetheless) it would be out of place. We don't know if it's en vogue in OP's company, but since he's asking the question it feel it's safe to assume it is not; and advising him to start a new trend could not be the right thing. Als this is the "workplace" stack exchange, we can't assume that OP is in IT or even in a technophile company...
    – AnoE
    Feb 18 at 12:08
8

If your boss is the busy type or very senior.

  1. Email only the New Person (no cc)

Hi Steve, can we meet at 0500 tomorrow on Slack? Cheers, Fattie.

  1. Then email only the boss - very briefly, and only once it is firmly organized

Boss, confirming I'm meeting the new person Steve, tomorrow at 0530. Thanks, Fattie.

There is no need to add office politics, like this:

Boss, confirming I'm meeting the new person Steve, tomorrow at 0530. I suggested 0500 but I guess some people have differing commitment levels. Steve seems to take a long time replying to simple emails. Perhaps family problems? I reviewed Steve's question trail on Stackoverflow and "basic" is a term that comes to mind. BTW your blue suit looked fabulous today boss. Thanks, Fattie.

So, no need for that sort of thing :)

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    What if the boss is not the busy type or very senior? :)
    – Erik
    Feb 17 at 7:34
  • @Erik then Old_Lamplighter's approach is a good way to get started.
    – ObscureOwl
    Feb 17 at 9:45
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    I like this best, even better than the currently highest-ranking (and accepted) answer. Would you mind redacting it a bit; right now I find the 3rd paragraph a bit distracting (more tongue-in-cheek than necessary; overdoing it a bit).
    – AnoE
    Feb 17 at 15:47
3

Send an email to the new person, with a carbon copy (CC) to the boss. The contents should be an introducing yourself and perhaps the project.

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