Belbin Team Inventory

Belbin Team Inventory

The term Team Roles was first coined by Dr Meredith Belbin, but is now used more generically to describe team types. A Team Role is defined by Meredith Belbin as: "A tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way."

The Belbin Team Inventory is an assessment used to gain insight into an individual’s behavioural tenancy in a team environment. This tool is a behavioural tool and not a psychometric instrument.

The assessment includes 360-degree feedback from observers as well as the individual's own evaluation of their behaviour, and contrasts how they see their behaviour versus how their colleagues do. Unlike Myers-Briggs, which is conventionally used to sort people into one of 16 types by how clearly they express their preference for 4 dichotomous types of behaviour, the Belbin Inventory scores people on how strongly they express traits from 9 different Team Roles.

An individual may and often does exhibit strong tendencies towards multiple Roles. Belbin himself asserts that the Team Roles are not equivalent to personality types.

Understanding how peoples behaviour effects their fit in the team, allows teams to exploit the best abilities of each member of a team to improve individual and team effectiveness. Our consultants will use activities, case studies and discussion to facilitate your teams learning, and to ensure they have an accurate understanding of team roles.

THE ROLES

Plant

Plants are creative, unorthodox and a generator of ideas. If an innovative solution to a problem is needed, a Plant is a good person to ask. A good plant will be bright and free-thinking. Plants can tend to ignore incidentals and refrain from getting bogged down in detail. The Plant bears a strong resemblance to the popular caricature of the absentminded professor-inventor, and often has a hard time communicating ideas to others.

Resource Investigator

The Resource Investigator gives a team a rush of enthusiasm at the start of the project by vigorously pursuing contacts and opportunities. He or she is focused outside the team, and has a finger firmly on the pulse of the outside world. Where a Plant creates new ideas, a Resource Investigator will quite happily steal them from other companies or people. A good Resource Investigator is a maker of possibilities and an excellent networker, but has a tendency to lose momentum towards the end of a project and to forget small details.

Coordinator

A Coordinator often becomes the default chairperson of a team, stepping back to see the big picture. Coordinators are confident, stable and mature and because they recognise abilities in others, they are very good at delegating tasks to the right person for the job. The Coordinator clarifies decisions, helping everyone else focus on their tasks. Coordinators are sometimes perceived to be manipulative, and will tend to delegate all work, leaving nothing but the delegating for them to do.

Shaper

The shaper is a task-focused leader who abounds in nervous energy, who has a high motivation to achieve and for whom winning is the name of the game. The shaper is committed to achieving ends and will ‘shape’ others into achieving the aims of the team. He or she will challenge, argue or disagree and will display aggression in the pursuit of goal achievement. Two or three shapers in a group, according to Belbin, can lead to conflict, aggravation and in-fighting.

Monitor Evaluator

Monitor Evaluators are fair and logical observers and judges of what is going on. Because they are good at detaching themselves from bias, they are often the ones to see all available options with the greatest clarity. They take everything into account, and by moving slowly and analytically, will almost always come to the right decision. However, they can become excessively cynical, damping enthusiasm for anything without logical grounds, and they have a hard time inspiring themselves or others to be passionate about their work.

Teamworker

A Teamworker is the greasy oil between the cogs that keeps the machine that is the team running. They are good listeners and diplomats, talented at smoothing over conflicts and helping parties understand each other without becoming confrontational. The beneficial effect of a Teamworker is often not noticed until they are absent, when the team begins to argue, and small but important things cease to happen. Because of an unwillingness to take sides, a Teamworker may not be able to take decisive action when it is needed.

Implementer

The Implementer takes what the other roles have suggested or asked, and turns their ideas into positive action. They are efficient and self-disciplined, and can always be relied on to deliver on time. They are motivated by their loyalty to the team or company, which means that they will often take on jobs everyone else avoids or dislikes. However, they may be seen as closed-minded and inflexible since they will often have difficulty deviating from their own well-thought-out plans.

Completer Finisher

The Completer Finisher is a perfectionist and will often go the extra mile to make sure everything is "just right," and the things he or she delivers can be trusted to have been double-checked and then checked again. The Completer Finisher has a strong inward sense of the need for accuracy, rarely needing any encouragement from others because that individual's own high standards are what he or she tries to live up to. They may frustrate their teammates by worrying excessively about minor details and refusing to delegate tasks that they do not trust anyone else to perform.

Specialist

Specialists are passionate about learning in their own particular field. As a result, they will have the greatest depth of knowledge, and enjoy imparting it to others. They are constantly improving their wisdom. If there is anything they do not know the answer to, they will happily go and find it. Specialists bring a high level of concentration, ability, and skill in their discipline to the team, but can only contribute on that narrow front and will tend to be uninterested in anything which lies outside its narrow confines.

© Copyright Firovia Consulting 2012