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Jo Keeler

Belbin Associates


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When is a top Team Role a good example of the type?


This is a good question which crops up frequently and can be a difficult one to answer.
It is a common misconception that if you are seen as a Plant, then it must be for all those original and creative ideas!  Sometimes it may be that your colleagues are alluding to your unorthodox and somewhat up in the clouds approach instead!

So, how can we establish whether someone is a good example of the type?
First of all, we must ensure that observers corroborate the individual’s views in the overall profile.  Otherwise, we could never categorically state that it is his or her top role.
  Secondly, one would have to read not only the ranked order of Team Roles, but also to look at the other reports.  This is where an experienced Interplace user has an advantage:
   Look to see the variation in the Pie Chart of SPI versus Observer Data.  Can the observers see the same traits as the individual identifies?
•    Look to see if the negative section of the Bar Graph of Observer Words outweighs the positive contribution for the Team Role in question.
•    Study the List of Observer Words closely.  The positive characteristics you would associate with the role should feature highly.  As well as checking any strengths which may be lacking, look for supplementary information which may have an impact on Team Role performance.  If you are looking at a Teamworker for whom “aggressive” features highly on the list, this would obviously compromise the individual’s effectiveness in the role.
•    Are the negative observer words being ticked as frequently – or even more frequently – than the positive ones?
For the individual to play their top role well, they must be aware of each Team Role’s “Dos and Don’ts” (free download of handout available at:  After all, there is always room for improvement through role learning.
After reading an individual’s Belbin report with the above points in mind, you can be confident that the feedback you give will be more insightful and useful for an individual’s personal development.
Becoming a good example of the type is to be encouraged and will lead to a role being played with more confidence.

Author Profile Picture
Jo Keeler


Read more from Jo Keeler

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