The Top Reasons Why Belbin’s Team Role Theory Outshines the Rest
Belbin’s Team Role Theory is a well-known and widely applied tool for evaluating and comprehending team dynamics. Based on their behaviours and preferences, it identifies nine different team roles that individuals tend to naturally gravitate towards in a group setting. Namely, Coordinator, Shaper, Plant, Resource Investigator, Monitor Evaluator, Team Worker, Implementer, Completer Finisher, and Specialist. These nine roles are further divided into 3 categories as well, i.e., Thinking, Action and Social categories.
One of the primary reasons that Belbin’s Team Role Theory is superior to other tools is that it offers a comprehensive and nuanced view of an individual’s role within a team. It considers not only a person’s skills and knowledge, but also their behaviours and interactions with others. As a result, it provides a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of an individual’s strengths and contributions to the team. It allows us to understand our strengths and weaknesses which results in better managing our actions.
The process of generating the assessment report is simplified through Belbin’s inventory tool, however the options provided with different report types makes it even easier to get the best out of it as we will be equipped to use it for individuals as well as teams. The variety of report types can be used in different settings of organizations as well. The “Job Report” for example, can be used by the HR Team, the “Team Report” for example can be used by the Marketing Team, PMO etc.
Belbin’s Team Role Theory also has the advantage of being able to identify imbalances in team roles. When a team has too few or too many people in a specific role, it can cause issues.
Lack of direction or leadership: If there are too few team members with the “Coordinator” or “Shaper” roles, the team may lack clear direction or a strong leader to drive progress and make decisions.
Poor communication: If there are too few team members with the “Communicator” or “Resource Investigator” roles, the team may struggle with effective communication and may have difficulty coordinating and sharing information.
Limited creativity: If there are too few team members with the “Creator” or “Plant” roles, the team may have difficulty generating new ideas or finding innovative solutions to problems.
Inefficiency: If there are too few team members with the “Organizer” or “Implementer” roles, the team may struggle with managing tasks and resources effectively and may be prone to mistakes or delays.
Lack of support: If there are too few team members with the “Helper” or “Team Worker” roles, the team may lack the necessary support and collaboration to function effectively.
Overload on certain team members: If certain team roles are overrepresented, certain team members may become overwhelmed and may struggle to meet the demands of their role. This can lead to burnout and decreased team productivity
Identifying these imbalances allows teams to bring in additional skills or expertise to fill any gaps and create a more balanced and effective team and that is done through the different report types that it produces with comprehensive details and recommendations.
A Comparison with other tools available for similar expectations
|Belbin’s Team Role Inventory
(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
|Assesses an individual’s preferred team role based on their behaviours in a group setting
|Assesses an individual’s natural talents and provides a list of their top five strengths
|Assesses an individual’s personality type based on four dimensions: extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving
|Helps teams understand how different team roles contribute to the team’s overall effectiveness
|Can be used to help individuals understand their unique abilities and how they can apply them in the workplace
|Can be used to help individuals understand their communication and decision-making style and how they might work best in a team setting
|Can be used to identify imbalances in team roles
and to identify areas where the team may need to bring in additional skills or expertise
|Does not assess weaknesses or areas for improvement, but rather focuses on an individual’s strengths and how they can use them to excel in their role
|Does not assess strengths or weaknesses per se, but rather provides insight into an individual’s preferences and tendencies