According to Belbin, the definition of team
role means “a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others
in a particular way” (Belbin.com, 2017). An important aspect of work in a group is productivity.
Every team member takes on different responsibilities in the group to achieve
the common goal. Belbin’s research identifies that is nine team roles, and
every team role has characteristic strengths and weaknesses.
Those roles categorized into three groups:
action oriented which are: shaper, implementer, and completer-finisher;
people-oriented which are: coordinator, team worker, and resource investigator;
and thought oriented which are a plant, monitor-evaluator, and specialist
(Appendix 1). However, a team does not need to consist of nine people with
different roles to be a perfect team, as people have a mix of roles.
In the class, I completed the Belbin Team Role
Inventory and my results showed that I am an implementer and a specialist. The
implementer is the practical organizer who gets things done by takes team’s
idea into positive actions. However, they can be too conservative to new ideas.
Specialists are dedicated people in a group who provide specialist knowledge
and skills but may have only known in a specific field. It helps me to learn
about my strengths and I can manage my weaknesses after I did the test.
An example worth mentioning is the first
assignment in the group at the beginning of the academic year, where we have to
do the presentation. On our first group meeting, we shared the work between
five people and we were discussing the task. The problems began when one of the
members a ‘plant’ did not send any e-mail and he stopped working at the next meeting
because ‘plants’ prefer to work alone. The other two members ‘shaper’ and
‘coordinator’ gave out their ideas, but they both want to be leaders, so
conflict was unavoidable. Another student represents a ‘team worker’ expressed
his opinions and I thought was great.
The main problem was who will be a leader in
our team and what if the second person will fell unsatisfied. My work as an
implementer was to turn ideas into practical actions and I tried to convince
the shaper and coordinator to modify their ideas to make the final plan
accepted by all team members. We finished the presentation as a team but made
some mistakes. I think that we allocated tasks in the wrong way to team
members. Tuckman and Jensen (1977) as cited by Tubbs (2017) can help me better
understand various problems at different stages of team development. A group
passes through five phases of development as forming, storming, norming,
performing and adjourning (Tuckman and Jensen, 1977). Next time we should
allocate tasks to the group according to Belbin’s theory because people are
more motivated if they working in the way that is natural to them. By doing the
Belbin Team Role Inventory and after this teamwork experience I know my role in
a team and I know how to position myself in the next teamwork.
Good teamwork plays a vital role and can be an
effective way to learn and is also very important in the workplace. By
identified different roles in the team, I learn that all roles having different
strengths and weaknesses. This exercise helps me to better understand teamwork
and group formation.