How do we communicate is a really important question to ask when the team is up to define its Team Agreements.
Valve, the game company published its Handbook for New Employees in 2012. The subtitle provides information on how their approach to communication will have to be different: A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do.
How communication works when the organization values self-organization and self-management at that level. As you can see based on the illustration below coming from the handbook, the organization relies on individuals taking matters in their own hands.
The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication is another example of clarifying not only how we communicate but also where, why, and when.
Reading the Basecamp Guide, it is obvious that Basecamp values the time of people, and values the time when they are not interrupted.
Those two examples show that the underlying values and principles of the organization condition the way communication happens, its purpose and who has the initiative to initiate or improve the communication.
The one thing I would like to leave you with is: It has to be defined!
As a team member, you cannot rely on the fact that other team members know how to do it if there is no formal agreement on how the team is doing it. The understanding of each team member is probably slightly different leading to bigger misunderstandings.