The nine Belbin Team Roles are categorised as follows:
The first Team Role to be identified was the Plant. The role was so-called because one such individual was “planted” in each team. They tended to be highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways.
Strengths: Creative, imaginative, free-thinking. Generates ideas and solves difficult problems.
Allowable Weaknesses: Ignores incidentals. Too preoccupied to communicate effectively.
MONITOR EVALUATOR (ME)
One by one, the other Team Roles began to emerge. The Monitor Evaluator was needed to provide a logical eye, make impartial judgements where required and to weigh up the team’s options in a dispassionate way.
Strengths: Sober, strategic and discerning. Sees all options and judges accurately.
Allowable Weaknesses: Lacks drive and ability to inspire others. Can be overly critical.
Co-ordinators were needed to focus on the team’s objectives, draw out team members and delegate work appropriately.
Strengths: Mature, confident, identifies talent. Clarifies goals. Delegates effectively.
Allowable Weaknesses: Can be seen as manipulative. Offloads own share of work.
RESOURCE INVESTIGATOR (RI)
When the team was at risk of becoming isolated and inwardly-focused, Resource Investigators provided inside knowledge on the opposition and made sure that the team’s idea would carry to the world outside the team.
Strengths: Outgoing, enthusiastic, communicative. Explores opportunities and develops contacts.
Allowable Weaknesses: Over-optimistic. Loses interest once initial enthusiasm has passed.
Implementers were needed to plan a practical, workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible.
Strengths: Practical, reliable, efficient. Turns ideas into actions and organises work that needs to be done.
Allowable Weaknesses: Somewhat inflexible. Slow to respond to new possibilities.
COMPLETER FINISHER (CF)
Completer Finishers were most effectively used at the end of a task, to “polish” and scrutinise the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control.
Strengths: Painstaking, conscientious, anxious. Searches out errors. Polishes and perfects.
Allowable Weaknesses: Inclined to worry unduly. Reluctant to delegate.
Teamworkers helped the team to gel, using their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team.
Strengths: Co-operative, perceptive and diplomatic. Listens and averts friction.
Allowable Weaknesses: Indecisive in crunch situations. Avoids confrontation.
Challenging individuals, known as Shapers, provided the necessary drive to ensure that the team kept moving and did not lose focus or momentum.
Strengths: Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure. Has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles.
Allowable Weaknesses: Prone to provocation. Offends people’s feelings.
It was only after the initial research had been completed that the ninth Team Role, Specialist emerged. In the real world, the value of an individual with in-depth knowledge of a key area came to be recognised as yet another essential team contribution.
Strengths: Single-minded, self-starting, dedicated. Provides knowledge and skills in rare supply.
Allowable Weaknesses: Contributes only on a narrow front. Dwells on technicalities.