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The Nine Team Roles—and Why Each One Is Essential to a Team’s Success

How Our Team Roles Put Your Team’s Strengths to Work

The nine Belbin Team Roles represent team members’ preferred ways to interact and behave in a group.

Some people are more comfortable working behind the scenes. Others like to interact and engage with with clients and customers. Some like ideas. Others prefer decisions.

Top-performing teams are built on a balance of nine basic roles—with each team member performing a role (or roles) that reflect their unique, inherent strengths.

Read on to discover the strengths and ideal responsibilities for each team role.

Team Roles According to Strengths

People

  • Resource Investigator: Extroverted, enthusiastic, communicative. Explores opportunities and develops contacts who can help the project.
  • Team Worker: Cooperative, mild, perceptive and diplomatic. Listens, builds, averts friction and calms the waters.
  • Coordinator: Mature, confident and a good team leader. Clarifies goals, promotes decision-making and delegates well.

Action/Task

  • Shaper: Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure. Drive and courage to overcome obstacles.
  • Implementer: Disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient. Turns ideas into practical actions.
  • Completer-Finisher: Painstaking, conscientious. Seeks errors and omissions. Delivers on time.

Thinking

  • Plant: Creative, imaginative, unorthodox. Able to solve difficult problems.
  • Specialist: Single-minded, self-starting, dedicated. Provides knowledge and skills in rare supply.
  • Monitor-Evaluator: Sober, strategic, discerning. Sees and evaluates options. Judges accurately.

Although Each Team Role is Different, Their Skills Often Overlap

Resource Investigators, for example, are excellent at maintaining relationships and at coming up with external solutions to problems. Shapers are particularly good at determining customer needs and encouraging decisive action.

Roles also have varying importance depending on the project phase.

Team Roles According to Project Phases

Goals

  • To assess and confirm customer needs and goals, Shapers and Coordinators are key.

Ideas

  • Plants and Resource Investigators best develop creative ideas to meet those needs.

Plans

  • When a team needs plans, Monitor/Evaluators and Specialists are valuable contributors.

Contacts

  • If a team must communicate with contacts outside the team, Resource Investigators and Team Workers are the best suited for the job.

Organization

  • Implementers and Coordinators excel at keeping the team organized and on track.

Follow Through

  • Finally, ensuring that all plans are completed and quality control is maintained should be the responsibility of Implementers and Completer-Finishers.

Want to Learn More About Your Unique Team Roles?