Team roles can be formal or informal.
Informal roles are more difficult to define than formal roles, which describe an individual’s job title or assigned position.
Team members naturally fill informal roles based on their behavioural patterns and interpersonal strengths.
Nine common team roles are listed in Belbin’s notion of team roles:
Are there numerous people performing the same tasks? Is it causing any tension?
- Plant (creates ideas)
- Resource Investigator (explores opportunities and contacts)
- Co-ordinator (clarifies goals, promotes decision making)
- Shaper (drives the team forward)
- Teamworker (provides support and encourages cooperation)
- Monitor Evaluator (discerning judgment)
- Implementer (turns ideas into action)
- Completer (attention to detail)
- Specialist (technical knowledge and skills)
Discuss the various roles with your team, as well as the roles they recognise in themselves or others. Understanding and clarifying informal team roles are crucial stages in building a more resilient and well-rounded team.
Keep in mind that team roles represent behaviour patterns and interpersonal styles. While people prefer to take a specific team role, that role might shift based on the scenario and the other members of the team. Instead of forcing others to fit into strict boxes, use these roles as a flexible guide.
The key takeaways
- Informal team roles can be more difficult to define than formal ones.
- Team members naturally fill informal roles based on their behaviour patterns and interpersonal strengths.
- Understanding and clarifying informal team roles are crucial stages in building a resilient and well-rounded team.
- Use Belbin’s nine team roles as a flexible guide.