Developing Successful Teams: The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Teams

05.09.2019 by marta

If you’ve ever worked with an effective team, where everyone is working towards a shared goal, then you’ll know that the results can be incredible. The opposite is also true, though — working with a team that doesn’t gel and communicates poorly can make the process painful and frustrating. But how does that happen? And when operating with a group that isn’t working as a team, how can you course correct?

We take a look at the top three habits of successful teams, and share some tools you’ll need to improve your team’s effectiveness today.

The top 3 habits of effective teams


1. Common goals

Team successes start with common goals. While it’s easy to assume everyone is united in a common goal if there is a single project deadline to meet, that isn’t always the case. When individuals aren’t focused on the same goal, projects will not be successful or timely, and teamwork will suffer.

What, Why, and How

At the beginning of every project, bring the team together and identify the What, Why, and How. Ask the following questions, and allow others to contribute:

  • What is the project/topic?
  • Why is it important? Why must it be done?
  • How will we complete it? How will we leverage each other’s strengths to work faster, effectively, and more collaboratively?

Many times, teams have a very easy time identifying the “What” and diving immediately into the “How” of a project. Then, they completely bypass the “Why”. Why something is being done is key to bringing a group together. The “Why” is the common goal.

When working as a team, everyone must understand why they’re working on the task and believe in the common goal. Telling someone, “Well, it just needs to get done” is unmotivating and unfair to the individual. Framing a task as “key to getting approval for the next round of funding” or “imperative to approve the marketing budget for Q4 so we can expand our reach and meet financial goals for the year” is much for effective.

When a group veers off course, returning to the “Why” is a great way to get everyone back on track. People are much more likely to respond to detailed explanations tying back to the common goal than vague orders.

2. Equal contribution and shared energy

There is nothing more demotivating than feeling like one person is doing most of the work on a team. Working as a team means equal contribution and equal energy. It’s easy to feel discouraged and want to give up if you aren’t sure what other members of the team are working on. Team members start thinking it would just be easier to have someone else do it all, and they lose energy. Using real-time collaboration tools can help keep teams working together.

At Infogram, we offer real-time collaboration features on our team accounts. These services help give visibility into team projects and allow you to see what is happening as it happens. No need to send emails or chats back and forth to see what has been completed. Team activity logs allow you to see who has been added to a project, which tasks have been completed, and any updates to user roles.

Finally, the permission to view or edit in projects is completely customizable. Not everyone needs to see or edit every aspect of a project. Applying permissions limits role confusion and keeps teams working together better.

When team members understand how everyone is contributing to a project, and have visibility to the tasks that need to be completed, this creates a shared energy towards the common goal.

3. Communication style and frequency

If leading a project, it’s important to understand how team members prefer to communicate when working. At the beginning of a project or collaboration, ask team members how they like to give and receive information, whether it’s emails, phone calls, direct messages, or face to face meetings. Simply asking someone, “Do you prefer a phone call check-in or face-to-face meeting for project updates?” goes a long way in building rapport.

It’s also crucial to set expectations for how team members will communicate with each other. Using real-time collaboration tools helps eliminate excess communication. When contributors can see what has been completed in real time, this eliminates excess emails and constant phone calls. Infogram also allows you to view the version history of a collaborative project. You don’t have to worry about losing an older version of a presentation, infographic, or chart that was updated before new changes were made.

Communication frequency is also key to keeping teams motivated and working together. No one wants to sit through an unnecessary meeting or check-in. Set expectations early in a project of the frequency of group check-ins and cancel meetings if there is no clear reason to bring the group together. You will probably find that using Infogram’s real-time collaboration tools will eliminate a lot of meetings as everyone will already know what their team members have completed.

Infogram offers real-time collaboration tools that help create and maintain effective teams. When teams establish common goals at the beginning of a project by sticking to the “Why” of the project, individuals are more likely to stay motivated and complete their tasks. Equal contribution and shared group energy via clear visibility of what everyone is working on will allow for successful teams. And when communication frequency and style is determined and boundaries are respected and maintained, teams stay motivated.

Learn more about how collaborating in real time will support your teams today and lead to a thriving group dynamic. Get Started Now