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Belbin's team roles


Explanations > Preferences > Belbin team roles

Belbin types | Balanced teams  | So what?


These types (or 'roles') were defined by Dr. R. Meredith Belbin after studying teams at Henley Management College.

Belbin roles

The Belbin roles and brief descriptions are:



Belbin roles


Doing / acting Implementer Well-organized and predictable. Takes basic ideas and makes them work in practice. Can be slow.
Shaper Lots of energy and action, challenging others to move forwards. Can be insensitive.
Completer/Finisher Reliably sees things through to the end, ironing out the wrinkles and ensuring everything works well. Can worry too much and not trust others.
Thinking / problem-solving Plant Solves difficult problems with original and creative ideas. Can be poor communicator and may ignore the details.
Monitor/Evaluator Sees the big picture. Thinks carefully and accurately about things. May lack energy or ability to inspire others.
Specialist Has expert knowledge/skills in key areas and will solve many problems here. Can be disinterested in all other areas.
People / feelings Coordinator Respected leader who helps everyone focus on their task. Can be seen as excessively controlling.
Team worker Cares for individuals and the team. Good listener and works to resolve social problems. Can have problems making difficult decisions.
Resource/investigator Explores new ideas and possibilities with energy and with others. Good networker. Can be too optimistic and lose energy after the initial flush.


Note the linkage here to Head, hands and heart preferences.

Another way of dividing them is:



Belbin role

Leading Coordinator
Doing Implementer
Thinking Monitor/Evaluator
Socializing Resource/investigator
Team Worker

Balanced teams

Teams work best when there is a balance of primary roles and when team members know their roles, work to their strengths and actively manage weaknesses.

  • To achieve the best balance, there should be:
  • One Co-ordinator or Shaper (not both) for leader
  • A Plant to stimulate ideas
  • A Monitor/evaluator to maintain honesty and clarity
  • One or more Implementer, Team worker, Resource investigator or Completer/finisher to make things happen

So what?

Identify types when starting up teams and ensure you have a good balance (or handle the difference).

See also

Margerison-McCann Team Performance Wheel



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