• Amanda Sterner

Five tips on how to boost your communication in Microsoft Teams

#user

This week I would like to give you five tips on how I like to boost communication in Microsoft Teams. I hope some of these tips can help you and your team get even better at Microsoft Teams!


Tip 1 – Add a subject to your conversations

Something I think makes working in a team in Microsoft Teams easier is to use the subject when you start a new conversation. There are several pros with adding a subject to a conversation, one is that this will make it easier for the team members to understand the purpose of that message and another is that it will make add another filter when searching.


To add a subject, you click the icon with an A and a pen.

This will open the rich edit (and prevent you from accidently sending the message with enter before you are ready – yes this happens to me at least 10 times a day), here you can add a subject and do other types of richer formatting.

Tip 2 – Use the same words and phrases to ease search

Something we’re doing at my current project which I think is an awesome idea is using the same words and phrases to simplify search. Each time the team is talking about a topic we try to use the same words and abbreviations. I know this might be tricky, but it will make it a lot easier when we all use the same words 😊.


For example, as in my project, each week we write a weekly summary for the project, so that all the members in the team know what’s going on even if they haven’t been participating in all meetings that week.


Later when we’re interested in what we’ve been doing during the project we can search for week and see everything related to week. Of course, we’ve followed the tip about adding subject which means we can filter on subject (here’s an old blog post of mine where I write more about searching Tips and tricks for searching in Microsoft Teams).

Tip 3 – Tagging the people there’s an action for and not the whole team

I’ve heard somewhere that tagging a whole team or channel is like replying all in an email, I though that was funny and quite spot on. Tagging a team or a channel will give everyone in that team/channel a notification (dependent of your notification settings of course).

There are good cases for tagging a team/channel but most of the times the message is probably meant for a specific person and that’s the person you should mention.

If people get too many mentions, it will eventually be information overload and the purpose of mentioning a person will be lost.

Tip 4 – Channels – the more the merrier?

I’m not a fan of creating too many channels, I believe having too many channels will make it harder for the team members to know what’s happening and follow all conversations. Channels are great for keeping topics about a conversation at one place (and the files as well) but having 15 channels in a team will only make it confusing.


My suggestion is that when the team is created, sit down and brainstorm on what different channels you could need. My tip is starting small and expanding afterwards if you see that the channels you have created aren’t enough.

But just remember that a nice thing with channels is that there isn’t a right or wrong, as long as it works for your team.

Tip 5 – Deciding if you should be funny or not

Giphys are a hot topic when it comes to Microsoft Teams, I’m a millennial so I love them but not everyone does. During my years using Microsoft Teams I’ve picked up some tips from different places.

So, giphys are fun, giphys can give a message an extra dimension but giphys can also enrage if you use them too much. I tend to go after these simple rules:

  • Did I use a giphy in the message before? Don’t use it

  • Did I find a really nice giphys that will enhance my message? Use it

  • Did I just pick the first giphy suggested? Don’t use it

  • Does no-one else use giphys? Ok sometimes I use giphys anyway hehe, but in a more limited fashion

Something I see in many places are people creating a channel for fun. I don’t like this (read above on what I think about channels) but I can sort of see a point if you’re a team which sends a lot of fun things. If not, I don’t see a point with a having an empty channel of fun.


I hope these five tips will help boost the communication in your team 🤩.

Welcome to my blog about Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and collaboration

© 2020 Amanda Sterner

amanda@amandasterner.com

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