How to Build a Strong Team

Written by on January 10, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page



Individuals are massively important to any organisation but it is the quality of the teams within those organisations that will ultimately decide the success or not of the company. A team is not something that can just be grouped together and left to work automatically.

The separate personalities that go into building the team need to be considered and understood so that a collection of like minded and complimentary people are assembled who together will work with focus and purpose to one underlying goal.

The work of Dr Meredith Belbin on this topic is a very useful one to consider when looking to get the most of our your organisations individuals. Here is a simple breakdown for those who might be interested in learning more.

The emphasis of Belbin’s work was on how individuals behave in a team environment. These behaviours are analysed by outside feedback as well as from the individual’s self-evaluation, and they contrast this information with that as reported by their colleagues. Different from a personality test the Belbin inventory looks to fit the individuals and their behavioural traits within nine different team roles. It is not uncommon for some people to exhibit tendencies towards multiple roles.

Plant: This individual is creative and unorthodox. A plant is a problem solver but he or she may have difficulties in communicating with the group as a whole. Too many plants within a group will only lead to confusion.

Resource Investigator: This person adds energy and dynamism to the group. This person usual focuses on things happening outside the environment of the group and is its link to the outside world. These people do have a tendency to lose steam though and can be bad at paying attention to small but significant details.

Co-ordinator: This person is usually a good fit for the team’s spokesperson. They are good at delegating and clarifying decisions that need to be made. You need to be careful that this person doesn’t end up delegating everything though!

The Shaper: This person has a very strong will to succeed. The shaper makes sure the team keeps at their task at hand and won’t allow anyone to lose focus. Shapers are usually extroverts who push the rest of the team forward. They see obstacles as fun challenges and will not allow anybody to quit when the going gets tough.

Monitor Evaluator: These people are good at detaching themselves from the group and always come to the right decisions, although they can be overly critical and are unable to inspire passion about the work either in themselves or others.

Team worker: This person keeps things running smoothly. They soothe conflicts and are often under appreciated until things start to fall apart in their absence. They may struggle to be decisive when needed.

Implementer: This person turns ideas into action. They are loyal to the team and will do the jobs other people might shy away from. They may sometimes be resistant to change and seem close minded.

Complete Finisher: These people are perfectionists who can be trusted to double check everything. They may frustrate others with their need to pay such attention to every small detail.

 Specialist: These people are passionate about their field. They will be the font of all knowledge and invaluable on anything relating to their expertise but unable to help on anything outside the box.

 Understanding then and being able to mold your individuals into roles that match those from the Belbin team roles should see you having your team working to the best of their abilities. Not only will they work better but your understanding of particular individuals will allow you to appreciate them better too. Everybody is a winner!

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