Why Belbin Team Roles for Students?

Ready Set GoSelf- awareness more important that academic results in the long term

Have you noticed the pattern – the Leaving Cert, CAO, college and all that it entails or alternative careers, dominate our media in August and September. Whatever happens  they graduate, leave apprenticeships or Job bridges?

Sooner or later every young person leaves formal education and the change can be very abrupt. An institutional life designed for numbers of people who are being processed in a broadly similar way finally gives way to a very different situation. There is a sudden loss of structure: there is no one to announce what is to happen next. An individual stands alone and so a new challenge has to be faced. Every individual who enters into this unfamiliar world has to find a way forward.

Using vocational guidance to help young people decide what to do on leaving education, before they leave is the conventional solution. This can offer real advantages to those who have built up their own maturity and have developed a strong sense of personal identity. But, even with the brightest or most connected it may not be enough!

Even among well educated candidates who enter industry at a different level, those who have made their mark through gaining success know themselves. It is their self -awareness and their ability to manage their role relationships with others that stand to the fore. These successful young people are aware of what they could contribute, as well as what they could not do and are not afraid to ask for help.

If young people can present a clear picture of themselves to the outside world, a picture they are happy about and one that realistically represents who they are, they are more likely to achieve personal fulfilment. These young people will find a way of rising above their competitors. Given time, what they can contribute will also increase in value.

My recommendation is that young people need to improve their understanding of how other people see them. If a number of people, acting independently, all see in an individual the same basic characteristic, there are sure grounds for believing this is a distinctive feature of the young person and future worker.

So, the philosophy behind Get Set is that personal maturity should be built up before a career choice is made. After all, how can anyone determine whether an opportunity or opening is suitable if they do not have a proper understanding of themselves? The guidance provided by Get Set should help young people to be sure about who they are and what they have to offer. Then, when the right opening occurs, the young person should be in the position to seize the opportunity with confidence. This means conveying an image that is convincing to others. The pre‐requisite for this is accurate information about themselves.

Belbin team roles give students and those in the world of work alike a language to talk about their strengths and weaknesses. This language is immensely invaluable because it illustrates abilities without depending on qualifications. By providing accurate information about natural team role orientation, people will be better prepared to make informed decisions at a crucial time in their lives.

Get Set will help students:
• Understand and develop their sense of identity
• Identify and manage their strengths and weaknesses in group situations
• Project themselves in the best possible way at interviews, in their CV and at work
• Make them more effective team players – vital in the 21st century workplace

Unlike advisory systems that work on determining suitable careers or jobs, Get Set seeks to bring out the potential strengths of each individual and relate these to the various challenges that lie beyond the world of education.

‘The important thing is to know yourself, after that everything is quite straightforward’ – Meredith Belbin


Written by:
John O’Boyle, Director of Belbin Ireland