TEAM ROLE SPOTLIGHT

Shaper

Objective   To challenge and drive the team forward to achieve its goals and objectives.

Strengths

Shapers are dynamic and highly-motivated individuals with a lot of nervous energy and a great need for achievement. They’re primarily interested in getting things done – as quickly as possible.

Headstrong and assertive, Shapers enjoy competition and challenges, and they’re determined to overcome obstacles and win. They’re likely to come across as self-confident, even if they have doubts that they don’t allow others to see.

Shapers like to lead and push others into action. They’re impatient to get things done and they don’t mind taking unpopular decisions to make things happen. They thrive under pressure and are well suited to managing change. As the name implies, they exert a directive influence and can shape group discussion or activities into objectives and targets. They are good at tackling inertia and complacency in teams, or intervening when a team is straying too far from its original brief.

Potential weaknesses

In their eagerness to get things done, Shapers can neglect other people’s feelings and ruffle a few

feathers. They can be argumentative and are often to be found in the centre of a team conflict.

Because they are deeply invested in the team’s success, they also tend to show a strong emotional response to disappointment or frustration, which may need to be managed by the team.

Too many Shapers in a team can cause problems too, because they’re likely to lock horns and end up in heated arguments. To work successfully together in teams, Shapers often need to demarcate their areas of authority clearly, and to stick to work on parallel lines.

Non-negotiable weaknesses

The Shaper’s impetus to shake things up can help rejuvenate an apathetic team, but it can also result in arguments. Where conflict arises, Shapers shouldn’t hold grudges, but should be encouraged to recover the situation with good humour or an apology.

Team Role compatibility

Shapers are best managed by a Co-ordinator who can channel their drive, or a Monitor Evaluator who can help them to think before acting. As managers, Shapers work well when supported by an Implementer (whose efficiency and task focus will be appreciated) or a Teamworker, who can smooth over any misunderstandings that might arise.

How to handle

Do...

Use a factual and goal-oriented approach. Talk in terms of what can be achieved and when the deadline might be.

Don’t...

Make personal attacks in arguments, or allow yourself to get off-topic in discussions. Avoid ambiguity wherever possible.

Optimum working environment

Shapers are well suited to working in a changing, fast-paced team, where there are no ambiguities of leadership and they are accountable for the results they produce.

Share this page

Belbin Individual and Team Reports

Belbin Individual Reports

The starting point: Which Team Role behaviours do you see, and do others see the same?

Find out more

Belbin Team Reports

Where are the gaps and overlaps in your team?

Discover more

Working Relationship Reports

How will two people work together? Do you and your manager have complimentary Team Role profiles?

More information

Keep in touch

By submitting this form I understand that Belbin will share news and information with me via email. We will never share your details with third parties.

Belbin Training and Workshops

Introduction to Belbin

Throughout the UK

Perfect for people looking to use Belbin within their organizations.

Book Now

Workshop

We can facilitate bespoke Belbin workshops for you at all levels from board to new recruits.

Discover more

Accreditation

Discover our three-day Accreditation Course, aimed at professionals who will be using Belbin Team Roles with individuals and teams, or who will be teaching the model.

Become Accredited

From the Blog

Catch up on the latest from the Belbin blog.

Read More

19 Aug 2019

In conversation with... FujiFilm - a Belbin case study

Anthony O'Hara is an Organisational Development Business Partner at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB). His role requires him to be the organisation’s critical friend...

16 Aug 2019

An interview with the founders of an ice-cream company

We spent a morning with the healthy ice-cream start-up Oppo. We spoke with the founders Harry and Charlie Thuillier to get their views on why they saw a need to use Belbin.

07 Aug 2019

7 points when predicting team performance

A team's success or failure in Team Role terms will depend very largely on its composition, but if the team is well composed there is still potential for weaknesses to manifest.