The Advent of Chat Channels

The latest trend in business productivity is to give up emails for internal communications and replace them with chat software. Slack is a leader in this space which advocates the use of “chat channels” for conversations. Channels are usually set up by an administrator or a top-level contact who then invites a group of individuals to participate in the conversations. Unfortunately, all the conversations in the channel are visible to all the invited participants. This creates unintended consequences.

Unintended Consequences of Chat Channels

Imagine a sales manager invites a team of his account executives and a technical manager to a meeting via chat. The intent of the meeting is to discuss the status of a new software product the company is developing. During the group chat the technical manager shares screenshots of the software. She provides an update on the development progress. She also gets excited and mentions that the new release will be available within four weeks. Hearing this, the account executives also get excited and start discussing plans on approaching their prospects to introduce the software.

The sales manager wants to caution the technical manager to properly set his team’s expectations. But he has no opportunity to privately share his concerns in the team channel. He can separately chat with the technical manager in a direct chat between the two. However, when he does that, this direct conversation is no longer linked to the ongoing chat between the team. Such separate unlinked conversation threads can mushroom and cause stress since everyone has to rely on their memory to recall what was said when and in which context.

Need for Fluid Conversations in Chat Tools

Chat software has increased productivity by providing an instant connection between all the team members. However, it has also increased stress due to the rigidity of having to deal with fixed participants in all team conversations. Most conversations in real life are fluid, and the chat software needs to reflect how people behave naturally.

Clariti Facilitates Dynamic Participation

Clariti allows conversations to flow naturally by facilitating the dynamic addition & removal of participants from the conversation based on need. This provides newly invited people with context when suddenly roped into an ongoing discussion. It also provides confidentiality when discussing the same topic with a different set of participants who need not know about the prior conversation with others.

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