Belbin have identified nine different behaviours (or contributions) that individuals display in the work place. We call these the nine Belbin Team Roles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Meredith Belbin
This doesn't mean that you need to have nine people in each of your teams! Most people will have two or three Team Roles that they are most comfortable with, a few others that they can manage to cover if they need to, and finally the rest that they prefer not to adopt at all.
A Belbin Report will identify which of the Team Role behaviours each of your team members prefer.
But it is important for each person to know their own Team Roles and those of their colleagues. It is only by making use of complementary and collective strengths that individuals and teams can achieve their full potential