Oh crumbs… You promised yourself that, once you'd tidied up the last mince pie, it was healthy eating from here on out.

But now January's here, you're back in the office, and the biscuit tin is calling.

Fear not. Help is at hand.

We don't have motivational speeches.

We don't have pictures for your fridge.

All we have is this list of Team Roles and their biscuit proclivities…


Plants flock to florentines like bees to honey. The renowned food-stuff* of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael, this sweet pastry of candied fruit, nuts and honey is the perfect fodder for creative minds.

Resource Investigator

Perfect for parties, there's nothing Resource Investigators love more than a Jammie Dodger – the biscuit that's so warm and friendly, it wears its heart on the outside. Plus, you can reminisce about your childhood while you eat.


Co-ordinators can't help but admire a Viennese whirl. Butter biscuits, jam and buttercream, all pulling together in perfect harmony. Your friendly Co-ordinator wants to know if you could just grab them another box on your lunch hour, please? Thanks so much.


We're showing our age now, but the Shaper’s confection of choice has to be the 54321. A biscuit with a deadline? No contest. Chocolate, wafer, caramel – done. Eat up! Time is money.

Monitor Evaluator

For your discerning Monitor Evaluator, it's got to be the Jaffa Cake – a sponge covered in orange jelly and chocolate that’s really a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. Because who doesn't love the old 'cake or biscuit' debate over coffee? Is it mere semantics? Should it even be a binary choice? There was a legal ruling, you say? Even better…


Teamworkers have a natural affinity with the garibaldi. A biscuit that’s so sociable and supportive, it has to be forcibly torn from its neighbours. Perfect with a conflict-defusing cuppa, the garibaldi is truly the biscuit of peace.


Give an Implementer free rein of the biscuit tin and they'll go for the humble digestive every time. You know where you are with the hard-working digestive. It's a staple – reliable, efficient calorie transfer. What do you mean, add chocolate? No. The system works. Don't mess with the system.

Completer Finisher

It's common knowledge that Completer Finishers are enthralled by the intricacy of a Choco Liebniz. Check out that design – someone spent hours on that, and each dash and dot is exactly where it should be.


For the Specialist in your life, it's got to be artisan biscuits they baked themselves. The recipe's tricky – it takes a lot of practice, but that’s the whole point. And don't even think about starting before you get to know your ingredients. In fact, why not grow your own, just for completeness?

*not really


Next steps

Find out which biscuits Team Roles you prefer - complete a Belbin Self-Perception Inventory, get some feedback from some colleagues, and begin snacking working more effectively! And if you manage a team, find out which biscuits you need to put in the tin, and who prefers which. No point offering a Jaffa Cake to a digestive lover, after all...

Further reading

To download a PDF of this article, click here...

Why Belbin? It's a fair question - Why is it important to understand the behavioural strengths and weaknesses of those you work with? Why is it important to understand your own?

Research into effective leadership overwhelmingly tells leaders to ‘look within’, and for good reason.

The “Six Common Misperceptions about Teamwork" - from the Belbin perspective

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