Belbins Team Roles

A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them

– Dr. R. M. Belbin

Belbin Team Roles are used to identify people’s behavioural strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. The Team Roles that Meredith Belbin identified (Plant, Resource Investigator, Monitor Evaluator, Co-ordinator, Implementer, Completer Finisher, Team-worker, Shaper, and Specialist) are used widely in thousands of organisations all over the world today.

A team should be put together for a specific purpose. Each team member should be chosen to ensure that the correct balance of skill and behaviour is achieved. This doesn’t mean that you need nine individuals, each with one strong Team Role in each team. Each can play two or three Team Roles well, and should learn to adapt behaviour to the needs of the of team’s objective.

By identifying individual Team Roles, teams can ensure that they use individual strengths to advantage and manage weaknesses as best they can. Sometimes, this means being aware of the pitfalls and making an effort to avoid them.

This information can be used to:

  • Build productive working relationships
  • Select and develop high-performing teams
  • Raise self-awareness and personal effectiveness
  • Build mutual trust and understanding
  • Aid recruitment processes

Belbin Team Role reports give a common language to show clusters of behaviour that are needed in the workplace.