Roles Within A Team

building-strong-office-teamThe secret to team success is having a diverse range of different roles covered. If you have too many people who cover the same bases in terms of skillset, experience and personality, you’ll end up with wires crossed and toes stepped on. According to Dr Meredith Belbin, there are 9 distinct roles on a team that people will naturally fall into. They aren’t exact, but they represent a certain way of interacting with people and interacting with the project that most people will come under. By keeping an even distribution of these roles, you ensure things don’t fall through the cracks and cover as many potential weaknesses as possible.

  • The shaper is a dynamic person who enjoys problem solving and working out the best way to approach a situation. They question the other members of the team and encourage them to do their best, and provide the momentum and drive to overcome potential obstacles.
  • The implementer takes the team’s ideas and thoughts and turns them into a plan. They are organised and practical, and are often the most responsible for “getting the job done”. They like systems and ensuring the plan fits into a solid structure.
  • Completer-Finisher. The completer-finisher is the one who is constantly thinking about the deadline, as well as any small tasks that they know need to be completed before the job is done. They tie up any loose ends, as well as push the team as a whole to ensure the work is completed in time.
  • Co-Ordinator. The co-ordinator of the team is the one who assigns the tasks to different members of the team, taking on a traditional “team leader” role. They are good listeners and recognise the value in each member of the team.
  • Team Workers. Not everyone is a born leader, and team workers prefer a supportive role where they provide support, pick up the slack, and put in the work where they see it’s needed. They emphasise cohesion and getting along.
  • Resource Investigator. A resource investigator is naturally curious and good at talking, and able to to call to explore options, create contacts and make negotiations. They’re often extroverted, and good at dealing with a range of external contacts.
  • Plant. The plant is a creative innovator, often introverted and more interested in creating ideas and designs rather than seeing them executed. They are great thinkers, sometimes struggle with communication, and often think outside the square.
  • Monitor-Evaluator. The monitor-evaluator is good at weighing up the pros and cons of each plan or idea, and coming to a diplomatic conclusion. They are critical thinkers, able to see the possible downfalls in each potential action.
    Specialist. The specialist has a specialised knowledge that is required for the job to get done, and they feel a great sense of pride in this. They enjoy being the consulting expert on a certain topic, and work hard to be seen as the professional.

Additional reading:

If you feel your team isn’t as cohesive as it could be, see where each member fits in terms of team roles and check if there are any gaps or double-ups that could be causing a discrepancy.