Teamwork – Belbin

Match roles to preferences
Blue Sky, Evaluate, Focus, Outcomes,  Action, Review
Belbin team roles

Almost everyone works in a team in some way, whether it is face to face or in a network. Some teams work well and some not so well. Why is there a difference and what do you do when things are not going so well?

Match roles to preferences

Each person in a team or group will have a preference over how they work. Some like to lead, some generate ideas, some look at the practicalities some like to act quickly. Working out which you and others in the team prefer, early on, will get the team working together most efficiently. Think about who is best to chair the group, who can record what has been said, who is more suited to see the overview and who will actually get things done

Blue Sky, Evaluate, Focus, Outcomes,  Action, Review

There are steps to dealing with task within a team. Blue sky refers to thinking about all the options before choosing one or two. It is important because it gives an overview and may bring out solutions that would not have been considered. This stage should not be limited by the “what if” or practicalities as it is about ideas generation only. After recording each option should be evaluated to decide if it is practical. The team now needs to keep the intended outcome in mind as they put details in place with a plan for action. A date for review of actions needs to be put in the diary to ensure things progress as intended

Belbin team roles

Dr Meredith Belbin outlined the roles needed in a team or group and it helps to consider these for each person then identify the gaps. People can adapt to take on other roles when required to do so if it is made clear this is required. The roles outlined by Belbin are:

Plant – ideas generation

Resource Investigator –  networker

Co-ordinator – focus on progress and joint work

Shaper – moves things on

Monitor Evaluator – considers the practicalities and reality

Teamworker – encourages and support team

Implementer – gets things done

Completer – finishes task and all details

Specialist – gives expert opinion


Belbin R Meredith , Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail (Butterworth Heinemann, 3rd ed., 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-85617-8075