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Belbin Team Roles Definition and Theory Explained

Belbin Team Roles: Explained

Being a team player is now a common prerequisite for any kind of job. While teams are an integral building block in the success of any organisation, they are not always effective. On one hand, some teams set new benchmarks, others fail to deliver quality.

The secret to the success of any team lies in understanding the fact that they are made up of unique individuals. Each with their own personality traits, situations, and ambitions.

In order to understand what strengths any team member may bring to a team, Dr. Meredith Belbin, a management psychologist, came up with a simple way to predict the effectiveness of teams.

Team Roles refer to the kind of behaviour individuals display, when they are part of a team. Dr. Belbin defines 9 roles that can be recognised when individuals work in teams.

The Implementer

Believes in converting ideas into briefs, and then working through the brief, systematically.

Strengths: Practical, systematic, efficient, and reliable.

Allowable Weaknesses: Lacks flexibility.

Don't let them: Obstruct change, dismiss innovations.


The Resource Investigator

Believes in searching for new opportunities and developing new contacts, thanks to their inquisitive nature.

Strengths: Enthusiastic, extroverted, optimistic, inquisitive.

Allowable Weakness: Easily distracted, may lose interest after the initial enthusiasm of a project.

Don't let them: Lose interest in leads, create indiscipline.


The Plant

Believes in overcoming complex intellectual challenges with creative solutions.

Strengths: Creative, problem-solver, individualistic, free-thinker.

Allowable Weaknesses: May seem preoccupied with ideas, may suggest unpractical ideas.

Don't let them: Be too unrealistic, reject inputs from others.


The Monitor Evaluator

Believes in analysing every idea and thinking every action through to ensure the right decisions are being made.

Strengths: An analyser, thoughtful, strategic.

Allowable Weaknesses: Slow, over-analysing.

Don't let them: Spread negativity or delay progress by over-analysing ideas or decisions.


The Specialist

Believes in offering in-depth knowledge about a specific topic with ease and pleasure.

Strengths: Single-minded, knowledgeable, and dedicated.

Allowable Weakness: Isolated, narrow base of knowledge.

Don't let them: Limit their social interaction with the team.


The Completer Finisher

Believes in seeing things through by perfecting every small detail.

Strengths: Perfectionist, painstaking, conscientious.

Allowable Weaknesses: Worries too much, reluctant to delegate.

Don't let them: Get overworked by refusing help from others.


The Co-ordinator

Believes in everyone working together to achieve the team's shared goals.

Strengths: Mature, confident, great at delegation of duties.

Allowable Weaknesses: Delegates work too easily, process-oriented and may come off as manipulative to reach goals.

Don't let them: Take credit for other's work, or blame others for mistakes.


The Team Worker

Believes in helping team members achieve their goals to improve team performance.

Strengths: Co-operative, empathetic, diplomatic.

Allowable Weaknesses: Avoids making difficult decisions, performance gets affected under pressure.

Don't let them: Form groups within the team, avoid making decisions.


The Shaper

Believes in overcoming challenges by making things happen.

Strengths: Energetic, dynamic, enjoys challenges and obstacles.

Allowable Weaknesses: Blunt, full of nervous energy, may get irritated easily

Don't let them: Assume authority, bring other team members down by being blunt.

Written by Jenna Halford

11th Monday June 2018