Objective   To support others, and promote harmony and unity within the team.

Strengths

The most supportive members of a team, Teamworkers help to maintain a positive team atmosphere. They’re sensitive to emotional undertones that can affect the way the team is working together, and can be instrumental in resolving difficulties.

Teamworkers are adept at responding to people and situations with diplomacy and sensitivity. They have a key role to play in defusing conflict, keeping things running smoothly and helping all team members to contribute effectively. Versatile and willing, they do whatever is needed to support others.

As well as being good listeners and proficient at internal communication, they are sympathetic and personable individuals, making them popular amongst their colleagues. Their influence on the team may be subtle, but when they are not present, their loss is certainly felt.

Potential weaknesses

Teamworkers dislike conflict – interpersonal conflict especially – and will try to avoid it. This can be a valuable attribute, but sometimes heated debate is healthy, and necessary for the team to move forward. The Teamworker may be the one best placed to defuse the friction in a

tense situation. Whilst they are not necessarily comfortable in this environment, it’s important that they do not avoid all confrontation at the team’s expense, as this may mean either that important discussions do not take place, or that they take place without the Teamworker’s calming influence, which can lead to further discord in the team.

Teamworkers can also be hesitant in taking important decisions in crunch situations, especially if the decision is difficult and likely to alienate or upset certain team members. Where the Teamworker is in a position of responsibility, this may undermine their authority.

If there are too many Teamworkers in a team, whilst the team is likely to get along well, there is a risk that it may coast, with important decisions delayed or avoided in order to save people’s feelings.

Non-negotiable weaknesses

Whilst Teamworkers seek to minimise conflict, they should not avoid all situations which entail necessary pressure or useful debate.

Team Role compatibility

Teamworkers can work well when managed by any other role, but might perhaps be most valuable to a Shaper manager who needs help defusing conflicts arising. Again, Teamworkers are likely to make popular managers for most other roles, but may struggle to prevent a dominant Co-ordinator or Shaper from taking the reins.

How to handle

Do...

Harness their supportive qualities for the team’s benefit; ensure that feelings are not overlooked.

Don’t...

Take them for granted, assume that they will agree to everything or force them to make big decisions alone.

Optimum working environment

Teamworkers need to work in a positive, caring environment where there is an opportunity to provide support, whether to clients or colleagues.

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

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