An understanding of Belbin Team Roles can improve your team’s performance in these key areas:
1) Manage Conflict
All teams have conflict; it’s how you deal with it that makes for effective teams. If you have too many people on a team acting in the same role, conflict is bound to erupt.
For example, several team members playing the Plant role can lead to competition around ideas. Too many people contributing as Shapers on a team can create power struggles.
Knowing the composition of Belbin Team Roles on your team means that everyone can play to their strengths at the right time, and know when to step into their other preferred roles. This is crucial to maximizing team performance.
2) Focus on Results
It’s crucial to have team members that will drive the team to action; team members serving as Shapers, Implementers, and Completer Finishers are results-focused, and will help the team get things done. Teams with great ideas that never get off the ground simply can’t last in this marketplace.
3) Work Smarter, Not Harder
People with a natural propensity for the Coordinator role know how to effectively use people as resources. They can orchestrate that everyone is playing the most appropriate role at the right time. When a team is playing to its strengths, it can function the most efficiently.
4) Communicate Clearly and Effectively
By having a common vocabulary around Belbin Team Roles, every member of the team can explicitly state how they can contribute. When we understand that people’s strengths and allowable weaknesses are associated with their team roles, we can better communicate with each other.
People taking on the Team Worker role can help with team building by alleviating tension on a team. They also help to close the gaps between two team members with potentially conflicting team roles and interests.
5) Generate Money-Making Ideas
Those strong in the Plant role are great at coming up with outside-of-the-box, creative ideas. For people with Resource Investigator as a top role, they bring ideas and information from outside of the team through networking. The contribution of the Specialist role is a deep knowledge of the industry and their area of specialization.
When a team is faced with a number of ideas, having a person taking on the Monitor Evaluator role is crucial in determining which of these ideas could actually generate results.
If you would like to know more about using Belbin Team Role Theory in your team, feel free to explore our Assessments, Training and Products page.
If you’re interested in finding out more:
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About the Author
Max is the CEO of Belbin North America. He brings a depth of knowledge and experience from his career in general management and consulting in North America, England, Europe and Asia. Max has assisted CEOs and senior leaders within client organizations with the design and implementation of Interaction Planning processes, team based organizational development programs and Lean Six Sigma initiatives.