The foundation of every relationship is built on trust and communication. Communicating well builds trust. Trust opens the doors of communication.
But how can you emphasize trust and communication in your organization? What tools support a culture of transparency and results?
A New Definition for Team Communication
If you're wondering what Slack is, the company website says it best:
Slack is a platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go.
Put another way: Slack is the best of every communication medium combined in a beautiful design and intuitive interface that works across every major platform.
Because of the familiar features (hashtags, @mentions, emojis, links, favorites, etc) new users instantly feel at home and ramp up quickly.
Slack combines the core benefits of email, the reactive speed of text messaging, the accessibility of social networks, and the responsiveness of mobile to deliver a solution that looks simple on the surface while packing a powerful punch under the hood.
You get to make your individual Slack setup as complicated or clean as you want.
Communication within Slack is organized into 3 main categories:
- Direct messages
- Private Groups
Channels are the primary streams of communication.
Think of them as topics or projects. Channels are open to anyone within the Slack group to join or review. This provides open dialogue, enables cross functional communication, and helps a team identify where multiple bodies of work may intersect.
For teams of any size it's important to manage the volume and scope of the channels.
A channel can get too crowded with overlapping dialogue. On the flip side, if a new channel is created for everything, it's difficult to keep track of the right conversation. Not to mention your notifications will go haywire.
In addition to a channel for each major project (topic, department, etc), here are a few standard channels every team should use:
- Resources. This serves as a repository for links, documents, photos, books, tools or whatever content can serve as a resource for helping your team get the work done well.
These six channels create a solid foundation to start using Slack like a pro right out of the gate.
The remaining communication options are pretty self-explanatory.
Direct messages. Communication between two team members that only they can see. Kind of like an email or instant message with no cc or bcc option.
Private group. Think of this is an exclusive channel. It functions the same, but the content is only visible to those included by the admin. Warning: use this sparingly. The goal is open, effective communication.
Building Your Toolbox
Slack has a ton of features to facilitate communication, information sharing, and project management.
- #hashtag. Just like Twitter, use hashtags within comments to tag a channel or specific topic. This helps organize search results and allows users to find relevant details easily. This comes in handy if a particular item has implications for multiple channels. Instead of posting the same content in 4 different places, just add the desired hashtag.
Too often organizations young and old resign themselves to archaic communication tools and face the daily frustration with agony.
You don't have time for that nonsense. Join Slack (for FREE) and discover the most dynamic, powerful, and user-friendly communication tool ever designed.
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