Push and Pull Communication

Understanding internal communication starts with understanding the difference between push communication and pull communication.

In this post, we will see how to distinguish the two modes of communication and also explain what good internal communication has in common with these fellas 👇


The Problem of Internal Communication: Information Overload

Put simply, each communication has two parties:

  1. A sender = the person who tries to communicate an idea 💡
  2. A receiver = the person who is the intended audience of an idea 🤷‍♂️

In an organizational setting, you communicate to get align your team and move the organization forward. Whether it is a company update about the most recent financials results or if it is sharing the new guidelines for writing blog posts, you want to make sure that the intended audience is able to receive and process the information.

A common problem in internal communication is information overload.

You know the feeling. It's 6:42 pm and you want to have dinner but there are still 7 new emails in your inbox and more importantly an actual task you need to complete by the end of the day. This is a symptom.

The cause is usually an inefficient communication culture in your own organization.

Push Communication: Use Sparingly

Most of us are familiar with push communication. In simple terms, it is when a sender communicates directly to their audience in real-time.

The proactive participant of the communication is the sender. When I want to tell you something, you have to listen.


This type of communication is well-suited for urgent situations where time is of the essence. But for most other types of interactions, there's a better way.

Pull Communication: Use Frequently

Pull communication is en vogue these days. Mainly because many have transitioned to distributed work environments and secondly because the technology is ready to support it.

Pull communication effectively means that the proactive participant is the receiver. You look up my information when you need it.

In order for this to work there needs to be a mechanism to store knowledge for asynchronous consumption. In remote-first organizations, this is done through documentation 📒


A subject-matter expert (SME) documents their knowledge in a central place. This unbundles the expertise (ideas) from the expert (person). Once this is done, the rest of the organization can consume this knowledge via pull communication. They pull the information just in time.

Don't Manage People. Manage Process.

Your job as a remote team leader is to help your people with the new situation.

Don't let them drown in information, and help them to get work done on their own schedule 🙌

Want to Learn More About Remote?

Check our email-based course The 80/20 of Remote Team Leadership where we teach how to set up scalable documentation for your remote-first team 👇

If you have any additional questions you can:

Additional Resources


NameLink to post 👇Type
Introducing the Pull Communication Model
Pull Communication Model: Types of Communication
Push vs. Pull Communication
Forcing Functions for Remote Work