There are many theories about effective team working.
Dr Meredith Belbin studied people working in teams for a number of years. He observed that people in teams assume different team roles. Each role will have its own strengths and weaknesses.
Dr Belbin identified nine different team roles. For a team to be most successful, each of the nine team roles needs to be represented. A team can become unbalanced if its members have similar or identical roles.
This will mean that team members share similar weaknesses, and because they will also have similar strengths, they may end up competing with one another as opposed to cooperating.
Belbin quizzes identify specific team roles. Type in ‘Belbin team roles’ in a search engine to find examples.
The nine different team roles are:
resource investigator – someone who is able to find ideas and solutions and bring them back to the team
teamworker – someone who can be relied on to carry out tasks
coordinator – someone who can focus on the team’s objectives and delegate work appropriately
plant – someone who is creative and effective at solving problems
monitor evaluator – someone who is logical and can make objective decisions
shaper – someone who can drive the team forward
completer finisher – someone who can be relied on to make sure tasks have been carried out to the best of everyone’s ability
specialist – someone who is able to bring in-depth knowledge to the team
implementer – someone who can come up with a strategy of how something can get done most effectively