Basecamp has some truly interesting ideas:
You can not not communicate. Not discussing the elephant in the room is communicating. Few things are as important to study, practice, and perfect as clear communication.
Give meaningful discussions a meaningful amount of time to develop and unfold. Rushing to judgement, or demanding immediate responses, only serves to increase the odds of poor decision making.
Meetings are the last resort, not the first option.
Speaking only helps who’s in the room, writing helps everyone. This includes people who couldn’t make it, or future employees who join years from now.
If your words can be perceived in different ways, they’ll be understood in the way which does the most harm.
Never expect or require someone to get back to you immediately unless it’s a true emergency. The expectation of immediate response is toxic.
Poor communication creates more work.
Five people in a room for an hour isn’t a one hour meeting, it’s a five hour meeting. Be mindful of the tradeoffs.
Write at the right time. Sharing something at 5pm may keep someone at work longer. You may have some spare time on a Sunday afternoon to write something, but putting it out there on Sunday may pull people back into work on the weekends. Early Monday morning communication may be buried by other things. There may not be a perfect time, but there’s certainly a wrong time. Keep that in mind when you hit send.
Communication is lossy, especially verbal communication. Every hearsay hop adds static and chips at fidelity. Whenever possible, communicate directly with those you’re addressing rather than passing the message through intermediaries.