4.5. Roles in the team

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Stages of team development
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The successful team work


 
 
 
Teamwork diagnosis can be used both to build a new team, involve the right person in the team, increase the effectiveness of team activities, as well as manage the career according to individual talents (predispositions).

The role can be changed along with gaining new professional experience and conscious development of one’s personality.

Team role according to Meredith Belbin

(so-called the nine Belbin Team Roles)

Each team needs access to each of the nine Team Role behaviours to become a high performing team. However, this doesn’t mean that every team requires nine people! Most people will have two or three Team Roles that they are most comfortable with, and this can change over time. Each Team Role has its strengths and weaknesses, and each has equal importance. However, not all are always required at the same time – it is important to first look at the team objectives, and work out which tasks need to be undertaken. Once this has been done, discussions can take place regarding which and when each Team Role behaviour should be utilised.
 

Tasks-oriented roles

Shaper

Role description
Provides the necessary drive to ensure that the team keeps moving and does not lose focus or momentum.

Strengths
Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure. Has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles.

Allowable weaknesses
Can be prone to provocation, and may sometimes offend people’s feelings.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They could risk becoming aggressive and bad-humoured in their attempts to get things done.
 

Implementer

Role description
Needed to plan a workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible.

Strengths
Practical, reliable, efficient. Turns ideas into actions and organises work that needs to be done.

Allowable weaknesses
Can be a bit inflexible and slow to respond to new possibilities.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They might be slow to relinquish their plans in favour of positive changes.
 

Completer / Finisher

Role description
Most effectively used at the end of tasks to polish and scrutinise the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control.

Strengths
Painstaking, conscientious, anxious. Searches out errors. Polishes and perfects.

Allowable weaknesses
Can be inclined to worry unduly, and reluctant to delegate.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They could be accused of taking their perfectionism to extremes.

 

Roles focused on people

Co-ordinator

Role description
Needed to focus on the team’s objectives, draw out team members and delegate work appropriately.

Strengths
Mature, confident, identifies talent. Clarifies goals.

Allowable weaknesses
Can be seen as manipulative and might offload their own share of the work.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They might over-delegate, leaving themselves little work to do.
 

Team worker

Role description
Helps the team to gel, using their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team.

Strengths
Co-operative, perceptive and diplomatic. Listens and averts friction

Allowable weaknesses
Can be indecisive in crunch situations and tends to avoid confrontation.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They might be hesitant to make unpopular decisions.
 

Resource Investigator

Role description
Uses their inquisitive nature to find ideas to bring back to the team.

Strengths
Outgoing, enthusiastic. Explores opportunities and develops contacts.

Allowable weaknesses
Might be over-optimistic, and can lose interest once the initial enthusiasm has passed.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They might forget to follow up on a lead.


 

Intellectual roles

Plant

Role description
Tends to be highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways.

Strengths
Creative, imaginative, free-thinking, generates ideas and solves difficult problems.

Allowable weaknesses
Might ignore incidentals, and may be too preoccupied to communicate effectively.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They could be absent-minded or forgetful.
 

Monitor / Evaluator

Role description
Provides a logical eye, making impartial judgements where required and weighs up the team’s options in a dispassionate way.

Strengths
Sober, strategic and discerning. Sees all options and judges accurately.

Allowable weaknesses
Sometimes lacks the drive and ability to inspire others and can be overly critical.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They could be slow to come to decisions.
 

Specialist

Role description
Brings in-depth knowledge of a key area to the team.

Strengths
Single-minded, self-starting and dedicated. They provide specialist knowledge and skills.

Allowable weaknesses
Tends to contribute on a narrow front and can dwell on the technicalities.

Don’t be surprised to find that
They overload you with information.


 
In order to be able to carry out their tasks effectively, the team needs optimal role diversity.
 
 
< Back to 4.4
Stages of team development
        Next to 4.6 >
The successful team work