There’s no avoiding it.

The advent calendars are open and Michael Bublé is telling you that it’s beginning to look a lot like… Christmas!

But have you done your shopping yet? Here in the Belbin office, we range from ‘smug’ to ‘not yet feeling the panic’. The question is: how does each Belbin Team Role tackle the joys of Christmas shopping?


The smug one – has already done theirs. Followed the same plan as last year – start at one end of the department store and work your way through. No last-minute panics, no flapping – just organised present-buying. Christmas has its own excel spreadsheet. Oh, and the cards? Already sent with printed address labels.


Was so absorbed, they didn’t realise it was only two weeks until the Big Day. Delights in finding obscure presents related to the hobbies of their nearest and dearest. Has – after researching specifications and reviews in depth – asked Santa for a camera and can’t wait to start reading the manual on Christmas morning.


If they haven’t delegated the whole thing – after all, darling, that’s what personal shoppers are for – will be happily matching the right ‘experience’ to the right recipient. Gin-making classes for Auntie Edna? Perfect.


Waits till Christmas Eve. Then: on your marks, get set, done.


Spends plenty of time fretting – have they forgotten anyone? Have they spent the same amount on each? Will they like it? Have they already got one? Would they prefer the green or the blue? They may struggle with the pressure, but they’ve probably managed to find the most thoughtful and appreciated presents of all.

Resource Investigator

It started so well, and they found the best Black Friday bargains. But now it’s actually December, where is that list? Let’s admit it: boredom crept in and they got distracted. Looks like another Christmas Eve trip to the petrol station is in order.


They might have had a million ideas, but if none of them are any good, there will be an array of disappointed faces. Luckily, they do manage to pull off the most creative, original presents from time to time, and this makes up for the near misses. Their unconventional presents are the ones everyone looks forward to receiving.

Monitor Evaluator

Is not swayed by the adverts on the TV, the glossy ads in the Sunday papers, or the annoying jingles on the radio. Looks at wish-lists, analyses which presents offer value for money, enjoyment and longevity, and purchases accordingly. Functional wrapping – nothing frivolous.

Completer Finisher

Anxiety is sky high – everything has to be perfect. The jumper must be just the right shade of blue; the cheese from that small producer, cut into a perfect wedge. As for wrapping, think Rowan Atkinson’s character from Love Actually. Attention to detail is paramount.


Get those lists ready, and off you go! Good luck.

(Remember we are all a wonderful mix of all these nine Belbin Team Roles - this is just for a bit of Christmas fun!) 

Related reading:

A 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 – he works to help the business improve through utilising the people within it for best performance. As a Belbin Accredited Practitioner, I intended to ask him about his work with Belbin tools but you’ll see that we talked about so much more than just that!

Team Work in Care Homes: In a care home setting, team work is key in offering consistent, high quality care to residents. The majority of care home employees rely on one another to do their jobs effectively; the better a team works together the better results they produce. Tracy Powley explains the theory behind team work and discusses how to help a team work well together.

Belbin and Project Teams Project teams are a perfect storm of difficulties, and can present myriad problems to managers. It may be tempting to ignore the ‘people’ element and focus on getting the work done, especially when odds are already stacked against projects running on time, but doing so only exacerbates the problems that are bound to arise.

Hitting the Mark This case study from our colleague, Anders N. Reichborn, in Norway introduces an innovative and informative way to illustrate how Team Role balance affects a team’s focus, and ultimately, its performance.

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