Great teams start with Belbin®!
The Belbin® Team Role Test
Belbin® is a tool that helps understand teams through making different Team Roles visible. It categorises people by their unique tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. There are no right or wrong Team Roles. Each Team Role has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each one is equally important.
Belbin® helps to find everyone a place in an organisation where they can feel satisfied and make a meaningful difference. It also gives teams a common language to address, why team members act in a certain way in certain situations and why conflict may arise between certain team members.
The Belbin® team role test consists of self-assessment and observer assessments of people familiar with the respondent's ways of working. The team role report is created from the evaluations, giving a 360 ° picture of the person's features.
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What are the benefits of Belbin®?
A corporate team is like a complex machine.
Each cog, each gear, each pin plays an important role. It is the interaction between the parts that makes the difference between a team machine that’s efficient, and one that gets stuck in the mud. So how do you create productive, effective teams whose performance isn’t just a matter of good luck? And how do you manage teams that are underperforming – and develop strategies to address low productivity and dysfunction? That’s where Belbin® Team Roles comes in to help.
In short, using Belbin® can help you get:
- teams that are balanced on behavioural contributions rather than job titles
- self-aware individuals who can adapt their behaviours according to the situation and business needs
- the right people doing the right tasks, leading to better-performing teams
- appropriate conversations on the different strengths and weaknesses of each team member, without personal attacks
- informed, impartial decision-making, based on facts rather than a "gut-feel" and unconcious bias
- confidence when making decisions involving people
- insight into behavioural strengths and weaknesses that aren’t necessarily revealed by a CV
The Nine Belbin® Team Roles
A team member who is curious by nature, always finding ideas to bring back to the team.
Strengths: outgoing, enthusiastic, explores opportunities and develops contacts
Weaknesses: might be over-optimistic and can lose interest once the initial enthusiasm has passed
A team member who helps the team to come together. A teamworker uses their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team.
Strengths: co-operative, perceptive and diplomatic; listens and prevents conflicts
Weaknesses: can be indecisive in stressful situations and tends to avoid confrontation
A team member who focuses on the team's objectives, works as an organiser and delegates work appropriately.
Strengths: mature, confident, identifies talent, clarifies goals
Weaknesses: can be seen as manipulative and might offload their own share of the work
A team member who tends to be highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways.
Strengths: creative, imaginative, free-thinking, generates ideas and solves difficult problems
Weaknesses: might ignore incidentals and may be too preoccupied to communicate effectively
A team member who provides a logical eye, making impartial judgements where required and weighs up the team's options in a dispassionate way.
Strengths: sober, strategic and discerning; sees all options and judges accurately
Weaknesses: sometimes lacks the drive and ability to inspire others; can be overly critical
A team meber who brings in-depth knowledge of a key area to the team.
Strengths: single-minded, self-starting and dedicated; provides specialist knowledge and skills
Weaknesses: tends to contribute on a narrow front and can dwell on the technicalities
A team member who provides the necessary drive to ensure that the team keeps moving and does not lose focus or momentum.
Strengths: challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure; has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles
Weaknesses: can be prone to provocation, and may sometimes offend people's feelings
A team member who plans workable strategies and carries them out as efficiently as possible.
Strengths: practical, reliable, efficient; turns ideas into actions and organises work that needs to be done
Weaknesses: can be a bit inflexible and slow to respond to new possibilities
A team member who is most effective at the end of tasks to polish and scrutinise the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control.
Strengths: thorough and conscientious; searches out errors; polishes and perfects
Weaknesses: can be inclined to worry unduly and reluctant to delegate
Belbin® – more than just for teams
There are many ways to use Belbin®:
Belbin® in Management Training
The key to outstanding leadership is understanding and utilising the natural talents and motivations of staff. Belbin® provides managers with significant insights into the key behavioural strengths and preferences of their people, allowing them to get the best from each person in their team. It also gives managers a language to describe how they interact and interrelate with others.
Belbin® in Leadership Development
Introspection can be difficult, but it is essential for leaders to measure how effectively they aree connecting with staff. Belbin® is an accessible, rich, people-positive tool which promotes authentic leadership, helping leaders towards an honest assessment of their strengths and shortcomings. Armed with an understanding of their behaviours, leaders can learn how best to adapt their leadership style to the working environment within their organisation to ensure a positive impact on those they lead.
Belbin® in Recruitment and Career Development
The synergy – or lack of synergy – between a person and a job can be mysterious and difficult to explain. Given that two candidates can look similar on paper, why is one successful in a role and another not? The understanding of Belbin® Team Roles can help to identify which gaps in the organisation need filling and make decisions about which individuals to recruit or promote. It can also provides individuals with the information they need to take the next step on their career path.
Belbin® for Conflict Management
Conflict often arises from misunderstanding or lack of communication. Belbin® Team Roles can help to depersonalise problems, focusing on behaviours to avoid personal attacks which can often exacerbate conflict. Individual and team Belbin® Reports helps explore each other's experiences and understand potential conflict areas. Belbin® can also offer insights into distinctive team cultures inside an organisation, helping to tackle conflicts between teams.
Belbin® for Employee Engagement
Everyone has strengths: talents, knowledge and skills which can be used to advantage at work. Using Belbin® as part of an employee engagement programme can help ensure that job roles and talents are aligned. Using Belbin® fosters a culture that promotes strengths and engourages teams to consider strengths when assigning projects.
Belbin® for Personal Development and Coaching
Often, professionals are promoted based on performance in their current role, only to suffer from stress once they are in the new job. Whilst the new role might come with a desired title and level of responsibility, it might also require particular behaviour that doesn’t fit with the individual’s preferred Belbin® Team Roles. The tailored advice and guidance from Belbin® Reports can structure discussions as to whether the desired career path is both viable and wise.
Belbin® in Change Management
Rarely can change management programmes commence by wiping the slate clean. Belbin® Team Roles helps teams to adapt to the evolving goals by highlighting collective strengths and minimising weaknesses. Belbin® enables the team to be more cohesive and adaptable in a changing environment. Belbin® Team Roles help understand the individual responses to change: why some team members embrace changes, while others wish to preserve the status quo. Belbin® also helps teams to claim their successes and write their own story rather than being held back by past misunderstanding.
And of course, Belbin® with teams
Good teams offer diversity, promote learning opportunities, address complex problems, offer flexibility, deliver fast results and mirror organisational values. Belbin® can help to select people to form high-performing teams, develop and coach existing teams and bring together multi-functional teams.