Meredith Belbin: The Belbin Team Roles Profile
Meredith Belbin set out to understand why management teams succeed or fail. And the tools he created to help them succeed is the set of nine Belbin Team Roles and the Team Role Profile.
Watching this video is worth 4 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)
This video is part of course module number 4.3.7
Program 4: Managing & Leading Groups
Course 3: Teams
Section 7: Masters of Teams
Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Katzenbach & Smith: The Wisdom of Teams
🎬 Margerison McCann: The Team Management Wheel
🎬 Patrick Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Meredith Belbin conducted research at the Administrative Staff College (now Henley Management College) and set up a long-running program of studies with co-researchers, Bill Hartston, Jeanne Fisher, and Roger Mottram.
They observed teams of managers competing in business games, recording the way team members contributed and cross-referencing this with results of numerous psychometric tests.
Belbin documented the conclusions of this research in his now-classic 1981 book, Management Teams: Why They Succeed and Fail, which is currently in its third edition (https://geni.us/GQJp).
Since then, he has written a number of books, perhaps the most successful of which has been Team Roles at Work.
Management succeeds or fails, not on the strengths of individuals, but on the strengths of the team. Individuals bring individual strengths, personalities, and thinking skills. The strength of a team depends on the mix of people in it.
• Teams that were too small or too large were less likely to succeed
• In teams, people play a variety of roles
• Teams where all of the roles were represented were more likely to succeed
• Teams where two or more people competed to play certain roles were less likely to succeed.
The Team Roles Model
From this work came Belbin’s Team Roles Model – a set of identifiable roles that researchers saw people play. In the initial research, eight roles emerged. Later, Belbin added the ninth role and changed some of the titles.
Belbin observed that we each have preferences for one or more different roles and team success comes when members contribute the full range of roles, without clashes and competition to fulfill some of them. Here are the nine roles, with the names Belbin currently assigns.
Socially Adept Roles…
are all favored by people with strong social instincts and require good interpersonal skills to deliver effectively
all strongly focused on getting the job done
More Cerebral Roles…
are the roles that prize thinking carefully above doing
The Belbin individual and team evaluation tools help us understand our preferred roles, and so develop our teams. They can be bought from www.belbin.com.
Using the Belbin Toolset
• The Belbin evaluation tools are not psychometric tools. They shift over time
• Belbin tools are not suitable for recruitment or advancement selection. They are designed to help understand and address team dynamics
• Some people have one or two strong team role preferences, others have several and are more balanced. Every conceivable profile seems to appear over time
• Team members can adapt their style and therefore active profile, in response to awareness, training, and support
1. Think about how you like to participate in the teams you currently are a part of. Which team roles do you most readily play? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. Think about your current team. Go through the member and think about the roles they each most often play. Are there any obvious gaps? Are there any roles where two or more people compete to play them? (4 MC CPD Points)
3. From your analysis in 1 and 2, think about what steps may help to better balance your team. What can you do to help? (2 MC CPD Points)
Free Resources: CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources: Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)
– The Belbin Guide to Succeeding at Work https://geni.us/Kzc4GV4
Managers need a basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)
Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
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Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 4 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 12 MC CPD points
Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon
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