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.

Everything starts with you. Discover your own Belbin Team Role profile today...  

Find out Individual and Team strengths using Belbin Team Role Reports

Belbin Individual Reports

Before you can analyse your teams, you need to look at each individual's contribution. So, the first thing you will need to do is to generate a Belbin Individual Report for each member of the team.

Find out more

Belbin Team Reports

Whether you're forming a new team, introducing new people to an existing team, or trying to resolve issues within a team, a Belbin Team Report can help you to manage it.

Discover more

Working from home?

Finding out and using your Belbin Team Role strengths is critical when working remotely. Download our guides and articles to help you manage yourself and your teams.

Download

Keep in touch

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

Belbin Training and Workshops

Belbin Webinar Series

There is so much to be learned on the subject of teams. This is because not only is effective team work powerful, it is also rare. Join our webinar series to find out more.

Find out more

Remote Team Workshops

Now is a great time to spend time understanding how you work as a team. We can facilitate bespoke virtual Belbin workshops for you at all levels from board to new recruits.

Discover more

Online Belbin Accreditation

Belbin Team Role Accreditation is recommended for anyone who wants to use Belbin Team Roles to improve the performance of teams, and maximise working relationships.

Become Accredited

From the Blog

Catch up on the latest from the Belbin blog.

Read More

25 Nov 2020

Size Does Matter

Unsurprisingly, we are asked a myriad of questions in relation to teams. Questions about how to manage team communication, team dynamics, over-running & pointless meetings, disengaged team members...

20 Oct 2020

Not with a bang, but with a whimper

Three breakdowns in working relationships and how to fix them. It isn’t always palms on desks in the conference room or raised voices at the water cooler. Often relationships at work can fail quietly.

01 Oct 2020

“We’ve done Belbin… What do we do now?”

We’ve been having a lively discussion in the Belbin office. (Not an uncommon occurrence.) Specifically, we’ve been talking about the number of times we hear, “We’ve done Belbin – what do we do now?"