Research showed that the most successful teams were made up of a diverse mix of behaviours.
Dr Meredith Belbin and his team discovered that there are nine clusters of behaviour - these were called 'Team Roles' (see descriptions below).
Each team needs access to each of the nine Team Role behaviours to become a high performing team. However, this doesn't mean that every team requires nine people! Most people will have two or three Team Roles that they are most comfortable with, and this can change over time. Each Team Role has its strengths and weaknesses, and each has equal importance.
However, not all are always required at the same time - it is important to first look at the team objectives, and work out which tasks need to be undertaken. Once this has been done, discussions can take place regarding which and when each Team Role behaviour should be utilised.
None of this is possible without an individual completing a Belbin Self-Perception Inventory and asking for feedback from their colleagues. The Belbin Individual Report that is produced will help pin-point individual Team Role strengths (and weaknesses) to communicate and share with the rest of the team.
By using Belbin, individuals have a greater self-understanding of their strengths, which leads to more effective communication between colleagues and managers. Great teams can be put together, existing teams can be understood and improved, and everyone can feel that they are making a difference in the workplace.
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