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The Belbin methodology, unlike many of self-assessment and preferred tendencies tools, focuses not on individual scores but on the combined scores and tendencies of the individuals who form a group. The ideal Belbin group, in the original model, would have at least one person who was strong in each of the characteristics.


The modifications of the original material focus less on creating ideal effective teams and more on the practical realities of how to deal with less than perfect ‘balance’ and ‘diversity’ in real live workplaces. Thus such issues as the over-representation or under-representation of different characteristics are examined.


It should be really clear to everyone reading what is written below that a low or ‘nil’ score in your results has nothing to do necessarily with how you function when are working on your own or when you are in groups away from work. Thus over my years of working with the modified questionnaire I have found non-finishers who always complete individual projects on time but who lose their attention to time and deadlines in a group process because other strengths in a group come to the forefront.

Since this questionnaire, is a self-assessment, it can be ‘off’ if a person does not know themselves well or if they consciously or unconsciously ‘shave’ off points from a characteristic that they regard as less than desirable. This happens most often with the Shaper category, as some people do not like the image of bossiness or aggressiveness associated with that category.


On occasion, respondents think their highest scores do not provide an accurate description of how they operate in groups. If you believe this is the case, you are encouraged to

· describe yourself by the characteristics that you feel are more accurately descriptive of you, and/or

· seek feedback about your behavior in groups from diverse people you respect and/or

· re-write the questionnaire.


The scores must be read in relation to one another. Thus while the Coordinator category description says “does not dominate,” a Coordinator/Shaper (i.e. with high scores in those two categories) can be very dominant.


Flat scores generally indicate either an ability to shift into many different roles (and thus some role confusion) or caution in writing the questionnaire.



1. Turns ideas into manageable tasks. Does so on a step-by-step basis.

2. Sorts out what is feasible and actionable in order to get things done.

3. Prefers stable structures and tries to create them, unless the person is a change agent.

4. May not like radically different ideas or sudden changes of plan; note: this does note apply to people with strength in the Plant role.

5. May take a common sense approach to work; this may be more prevalent in women than men.

6. If there are too many Implementors in a group, the result can be paralysis of analysis, otherwise known as constipation of ideas.

The phrases below represent the kinds of behavior associated with this team role:

" Given the time we've got, we could..."

“ That does (or does not) make sense...”

" We can certainly do X within our budget."

" Gravitational analysis is a crazy approach... but we could put a heavy new weight on the bottom."

" Let's get this up on the flip chart."

" If we nail that part down, we'll be more than sure of this eventual result."

“That doesn’t make sense to me”.



1. Clarifies group's objectives and helps to identity agenda items and/or to set agenda. Aware of the importance of sequencing items.

2. Controlled, unless combined with high Emoter. Can be outgoing.

3. Focuses people on what they have to discuss in order to complete a meeting successfully. May also focus people on what they can do best.

4. Clear communicator about what needs to be done. Can pull masses of ideas into related topics.

5. Sets criteria but does not dominate, unless combined with a High Shaper score.

6. Can be social leader.

The phrases below represent the kinds of behavior associated with this team role:

" What we are here to do is..."

" Let's do this first and that later..."

" To summarize, the main points seem to be..."

" Perhaps you could...then she will..."

" To get back to the main issue, would you..."


1. Focused on their ideas and views of the main issues, how to solve problems, views on what the group should be focusing on etc. Can be dominant and outgoing.

2. Full of nervous energy. The higher the score the more likely this person is to get frustrated by others not agreeing on what the key issues are.

3. Quick to challenge others and quick to respond to challenges from others.

4. Drive may irritate people, so the Shapers’ ideas are not accepted, which in turn can lead to further frustration.

5. Principal function give shape to the team's efforts.

6. Tries to link other people’s ideas to their ideas and to produce patterns in support of their views.

7. Prefers clear, precise ideas and actions, not loose discussion.

8. Make things happen, compulsive-type drive with particularly high scores.

The phrases below represent the kinds of behavior associated with this team role:

" What we have to do is..."

" We're wasting time-we have to..."

" No, you're wrong- the most important issue is..."

" If we put what you've said with their suggestion we can..."

" If you don't like that, try this..."




1. Comes up with original bright ideas.

2. Comes up with ideas that turn group process, the issue being discussed, the definition of the problem etc. on its head.

3. Most likely to start searching for original approaches.

4. Most concerned with big ideas-- can make careless mistakes.

5. Direct, open manner about ideas unless they have been repeatedly abused about their ideas, in which case they can be very apologetic about their ideas.

6. Can be blunt, especially when combined with a significant Shaper scored.

7. Danger that spends too much time on own ideas rather than what group is there for. This is most likely if ideas are not listened to, are criticized or are ignored. Can withdraw completely into realm of ideas.

The phrases below represent the kinds of behavior associated with this kind of team role:

" What about..."

" Let's get underneath that..."

" It ought to be orange..."

" Turning that on its head gives us..."

" We mustn't overlook gravitational effects..."

" Why don't we get back to basics...?"

Note: a low or null score does not indicate the absence of creativity as an individual. It simply indicates that, if the person’s self-assessment is accurate, creativity is not likely to be their focus in group process.

Date: 2016-01-14; view: 662

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