Apparently these are the roles I usually take on in a team, according to Belbin anyway. As part of my induction in my new job (which I’m loving by the way!), I completed a questionnaire about the role I play in a team. I was interested to know this anyway, and it’s useful for my colleagues to know. I’m now part of a small team so if anything it’s even more important to know these things about each other so we can work to each other’s strengths and make sure we’re working as an effective team. My results are shown below (the higher scores on the bottom line demonstrate the roles I am most strongly aligned to):
As you can see, I came out with the most points as an implementer. To give an idea of the role the implementer plays, here’s an explanation from the Mind Tools website (which includes more information about the different roles):
Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans. They are typically conservative, disciplined people who work systematically and efficiently and are very well organized. These are the people who you can count on to get the job done.
On the downside, Implementers may be inflexible and can be somewhat resistant to change.
Now I know when we get the results of a psychological test like this we have to take it with a pinch of salt, and of course we’re bound to focus on the things we agree with (there was a fascinating section in a book I read recently about how we treat results of these sort of tests), but that aside I do feel that this describes the role I usually take on board.
I certainly like to work systematically, and prefer to have a plan to work to. I’m usually the person who will volunteer to organise these sort of things and I’m a person who lives her life by making lists! I also agree with the downsides of being an implementer – I don’t like it when things go majorly off course and don’t stick to the plan, and I can be resistant to change (particularly in my home life, although not so much in my working life).
There was quite a difference between my score as an implementer and the others, although I also scored relatively highly as a resource investigator (who explores outside opportunities) and a completer-finisher (who ensures thorough, timely completion). I think the latter will ring true with anyone who has worked with me – I’m often the designated proofreader who checks everything is accurate, and I tend to take on an organisation role to make sure things are on track. I can certainly see some of the elements of the resource investigator in my personality too – I’m curious (to the point of being annoying with all my questions!) and like to help negotiate to bring in external contacts and resources. I’m more introverted than extroverted though, and not very outgoing.
As for the roles I probably don’t tend to take on, I scored low points for the role of the shaper (who challenges the team to improve) and the plant (who presents new ideas and approaches). I’m certainly usually the type of person who avoids confrontation, and I won’t usually challenge others or shake things up unless I really think it’s necessary. I’m not a creative innovator either (like the plant); I tend to follow existing practical approaches where possible.
It was an interesting exercise and useful to learn more about myself and ensure I’m aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and the roles I usually play within a team. I am also now aware of the way my new boss tends to work and how we may be able to work together more effectively.
What role do yo usually play? Do you think it’s useful for staff to understand their role within a team?