Belbin Team Roles is a model that was first devised in 1960 and are still used today to measure performance, efficiency and employee engagement assessments.
Raymond Meredith Belbin is a British researcher and management theorist best known for his work on team-management. Belbin Team Roles are used to identify behavioural strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. These roles help develop people, resolve conflicts and fine-tune high performance. This model of team roles was first devised in 1960 and are still used today to measure performance, efficiency and employee engagement assessments. Meredith defined a team role as a “tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way.” Each team should have an action-oriented member, a people-oriented member and a thought oriented member. The nine roles can be categorised into three different groups based on their orientation.
A shaper is driven, passionate and willful. He/she has a strong urge to perform, looks for challenges and gets things going. Shaper makes sure deadlines are made and goals are met, one way or the other. He/she can get frustrated and react angrily or emotionally.
Implementers are practical organisers. They are very disciplined, orderly and task-oriented. They master putting plans, ideas and easily executable tasks. An implementer can be a little too practical and conservative. Their response to new ideas and possibilities can be slow due to their inflexibility.
Completer - Finisher (CF)
Team members who are known to be Completer-Finishers always have a feel of what can go wrong and this is due to their attention to details. They have a high tendency to perfectionism as they always monitor quality. It is difficult for them to delegate things to others which makes them overprotective and conscientious.
Coordinators are natural coordinators of the team. He/she looks after procedures, helps team members clarify intentions and summarizes what everyone wants. They have a nose for talent and know exactly how to utilise people to their full potential. They are also known to trust in others but can have a tendency to leave too much work to others. They are calm, good-natured and can easily delegate tasks.
Team Worker (TW)
A team worker is the most sensitive member of the team. They are helpful, accommodating and focused on creating a pleasant atmosphere and a sense of togetherness. He or she prefers balance, harmony and like being close to other team members. Team workers have difficulty with conflict as they have trouble making decisions at critical times.
Resource Investigator (RI)
A resource investigator is the cheerful, extroverted person with lots of contacts within and outside the team. He/she is enthusiastic, adventurous and open-minded and always looking for new ideas. Resource Investigator is naturally good at developing and maintaining contacts but may become careless when the novelty wears off.
The plant is the creative thinker of the team. They are innovative, creative, original and are productive. PLs are known to be free spirits who need space and time to fantasise about new and surprising solutions for complex problems. They might not always be practical as they might miss on what others require from him/her. They can also be too occupied to communicate effectively.
Monitor Evaluators are serious-minded, prudent individuals with a built-in immunity for being over-enthusiastic. They are likely to be slow in making decisions preferring to carefully think things over. Usually, they have a high critical thinking ability. They have a good capacity for shrewd judgements that take all factors into account.
A specialist is the source of technical knowledge and expertise. Their main distinguishing feature is their love of learning. They see learning and the accumulation of knowledge as the main reason for their existence and their single-minded and resolute pursuit of this end is their main motivation. The SP is likely to be recognised by colleagues as an expert to turn to for help and guidance.
Understanding the importance of each role is crucial as it identifies the weaknesses and strengths of each team member. Some of the important questions that need to maximise the strength of your team are: Which roles do you think you fulfil? Which roles do you think other members of your team fulfil? What opportunities does this present? What potential gaps are there? Although there are nine team roles, this doesn’t mean that a team needs nine people in it to be effective. Individuals will tend to have more than one preferred team role so will often occupy more than one role in the team.
To find out your strengths as a team member, you can take the quiz: https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3113
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