Why have a communications charter at all? The answer is that the scope for misunderstanding in virtual teams is large, unless communication norms are explicitly stated and agreed. This is because there is such a variety of backgrounds within a team.
So how do we do it? We set up a shared document (wiki) so that everyone can enter their constraints: I need this; I can’t talk at that time; I prefer to talk by telephone and so on, then hold a teleconference using the wiki to identify the main types of communication: reporting, problem-solving, complaining, idea sharing and so forth.
And then for each category of communication, work out the rules as bullet points.
Then pool the results, adjust them according to feedback and publish them to the written communications charter for the team.
Here is an example: “Guidelines for resolving misunderstandings”:
If possible, talk instead of writing; do not allow annoyance to build up; contact the partner by a short short message simply asking for a call. Say what you feel and the impact on you. And then ask for suggestions that would help avoid what you find difficult, and summarize your results in a note to both parties.
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