Belbin Team Roles

7 Mar

A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them.” – Dr. R. M. Belbin.

Belbin Team Roles are used to identify people’s behavioural strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. Based on research with over 200 teams conducting management business games at the Administrative Staff College, Henley, in the UK, Belbin identified nine Team Roles. Almost always people have a mix of roles and will have dominant and sub-dominant roles.

The Team Roles that Meredith Belbin identified are used in thousands of organisations all over the world today. By identifying the Team Roles, businesses can ensure that they use their strengths to their advantage and that they manage their weaknesses as best they can. Sometimes, this means being aware of the potential pitfalls and making an effort to avoid them.

The Nine Team Roles:


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Co-ordinators were needed to focus on the team’s objectives, identify team members and delegate work appropriately.
  • 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.
  • Implementers were needed to plan a practical, workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible.
  • 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.
  • Teamworkers helped the team to gel, using their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team.
  • Challenging individuals, known as Shapers, provided the necessary drive to ensure that the team kept moving and did not lose focus or momentum.
  • 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.

One Response to “Belbin Team Roles”

  1. sad111495342 March 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Nice blog! Great research done on the different team roles and responsibilities in Belbin team roles.

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