Lesson 3: Find and start conversations

Meet Sarah.

  • Sarah recently joined A1 Marketing, a company just like yours.
  • A1 adopted Slack a while ago and Sarah is learning how it has changed the way the company works.
  • In this lesson, Sarah wants to explore the different ways to communicate with her team in Slack.


Sarah’s experience before Slack

At her previous company, Sarah found it really hard to stay up to date on everything that affected her work. Her email inbox was a jumble of one-to-one conversations and giant reply-all threads, and sometimes she had no idea that key conversations were happening at all.

How A1 use Slack

  • Work takes place in channels. Channels bring the right people and the right information together, so everyone can share ideas, make decisions and move work forward.
  • Anyone at A1 can join channels, so every person can keep track of the topics that matter the most to them.
  • For short one-to-one conversations, the team use direct messages.

An example from A1

What’s happening…

In the sidebar, Sarah can see the two types of conversations in Slack:

  1. Channels (such as #announcements). Most of the conversation at A1 takes place in channels. Channels are organised around departments, projects, office locations – any topic, really. She’s noticed that channels group conversations together, which brings order and clarity to work at A1.
  2. Direct messages (such as her conversation with Toby Davies). Sometimes direct messages are needed for conversations outside of channels. Direct messages are great for one-off conversations that don’t require an entire channel to weigh in.

Find and join channels

When Sarah wants to join a channel, she navigates to the sidebar and clicks on the word Channels. This opens the channel list, where she can see all the channels at A1 that are available for her to join.

When Sarah joins a channel, she can scroll up to see all of the context, conversations, ideas and decisions that have happened so far. As a new starter, finding and joining relevant channels has helped her get up to speed at A1 much faster.

When she has something to add to the conversation, Sarah sends a message to the channel. As more people contribute, important information is captured over time in Slack.

Start a direct message conversation

While people at A1 generally use channels if other people on the team could learn from the information that gets shared, sometimes the conversation should only be between two people.

When Sarah needs to have a one-to-one conversation with someone, she uses a direct message instead of a channel.

Your next steps

💡 Review the list of channels in your sidebar.

💡 Open the channel browser to join a new channel.

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