Lesson 6: Collaborate effectively in channels

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 how channels help the team collaborate more effectively.


Sarah’s experience before Slack

At her previous company, Sarah found that communication happened in many different places. She received a constant stream of emails to her inbox, even if they weren’t very valuable or didn’t apply to her. Files were shared with individuals, and decisions were often made without everyone knowing what was going on. These communication silos made it difficult to stay aligned, track information and keep up to date.

How A1 use Slack

  • Files and conversations exist side by side in channels, which means Sarah always has access to the most current information.
  • Sarah has noticed that people respond efficiently to each other using reactions and mentions, which help the team get the attention of specific people – without distracting each other.

An example from A1

What’s happening…

  1. In #proj-email-campaign, Sarah and her team are working on an upcoming newsletter to send to their customers.
  2. Lisa needs an updated project brief, so she mentions Sarah in a message.
  3. Sarah shares the project brief in the channel. Everyone can see the latest version of the document in-line with the conversation.
  4. Lisa adds a reaction on Sarah’s message to let her and everyone in the channel know that she has seen the file.
  5. Lisa responds with some nicely formatted next steps.

Get the attention of specific people with a mention

Lisa needs the attention of a specific person to help move work forward, so she mentions Sarah directly in her message. Sarah gets notified that someone needs her help and the whole team stay up to date on what’s happening in the conversation.

Share files with the team

When Sarah works with her team, she wants files and conversations to exist side by side so everyone has access to the most up-to-date information. It’s much easier to get work done when everyone has access to the same information!

Respond efficiently with reactions

Lisa could acknowledge Sarah’s file by sending a message in the channel saying, “Thanks, Sarah, taking a look!” But sending a new message would mark the channel as unread, and the comment doesn’t add much value to the conversation. Instead, Lisa can add the eyes reaction to Sarah’s message to let her know that she’s seen the file and is taking a look. This doesn’t mark the channel as unread.

Keep things tidy with message formatting

By taking the time to neatly format her message, Lisa ensures that everyone in the channel can quickly scan the content and understand the next steps.

Your next steps

💡 Mention colleagues in a channel to get their attention.

💡 Add a reaction to a message in a channel.

💡 Upload a file and share it in a channel.

💡 Try out some formatting techniques on your next message!

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