The key personality traits that you need to be aware of
According to more than four decades of scientific research, and specifically the Belbin team roles theory, an ideal team is made up of nine different personality profiles. Being able to successfully identify how teams are composed should be a priority for managers who want to improve teamwork, collaboration and productivity.
Let’s summarize how Belbin defines these professional profiles:
The coordinator or leader
The person in charge of a project must ask some questions like: How many people do I need? What skills does each member need to develop? In what do they falter? Or what are your strengths? In addition, this person must act as the leader of the organization to guide their team to specific objectives, motivate them when they are down, actively listen to them when they have a problem, advise them and transmit positive energy and a lot of strength to reach the goal.
The shaper or driver
The shaper has many similarities with the leader because its characteristics include its dynamism, energy and resolutive capacity to solve any problem. The only difference with the leader is that he likes someone to exercise control over him or her and is told what to do. Works well under pressure and when they have to assume the leadership position because they have no choice, they need control. Their task is to put pressure on the rest of the team, polish the discussions, the results and shape the activities. Sometimes provoke others, disrespect, and that generates controversy in the team.
The plant or creative
This profile is characterized by being a person with great potential to solve problems and develop strategies. This person prefers to look for and contribute different ideas before doing it as usual, by the traditional method. Very innovative person, their imagination does not stop working and trusts all possibilities.The only drawback is that they believe that their ideas are the best and do not listen to others.
The monitor evaluator
An introverted person who has difficulty expressing what she thinks (unless asked) and seldom takes the initiative. Very intelligent, critical, objective, calm and evaluates very well the consequences of the decisions taken. The person who best analyzes the business from another perspective, by contrasting the viability of ideas, proposals and results.
Their gridded mind does not allow them to get out of the established. Inflexible and is paralyzed when it has to face changes and new opportunities. That way of doing things so perfect makes them productive in their work. This person likes to have someone mark his way and is effective in the planning of tasks and in the development of them.
The team worker or mediator
As its own name indicates, the team worker is the one who avoids tensions and strives to offer favorable solutions to problems that may arise. A sociable person, who actively listens to others, helps and focuses on making everyone feel comfortable and happy. The only weak point is that being so diplomatic, never opts for anyone and have a hard time making decisions.
The resource investigator
Gets excited quickly when a new project starts, but loses interest as time goes by. Is sociable and takes a positive attitude towards life. This person has the gift of easily communicating with others and of being decisive to find all kinds of resources. Their communicative ability facilitates the task of making useful contacts for the organization.
Efficiently turns ideas into action through a detailed and organized work plan or strategy. In many ways, this person precedes the shaper. The difference with the shaper is that the implementer is more oriented to the crafting of well elaborated plans and the organization of the actions to take and can be inflexible. Unlike the shaper, he doesn’t work well under pressure and is unlikely to take brave leaps.
The complete finisher or perfectionist
Willing to take the hours that are needed for the project to be successful. A meticulous person who demands a lot from himself, sometimes in an exaggerated way, and is a restless person.This obsession to have everything perfect makes the person not want to delegate their functions to other people on the team when necessary. They have a hard time trusting others. It is a key piece especially when team members do not meet deadlines or do not go too deep into their tasks.
Putting it all together
Having a balanced team not only in their technical abilities, but most important, in their personality traits will provide a more solid foundation required for a project to move forward.
Belbin’s 9 professional profiles can help all team managers better understand where their teams are lacking and how they can make up for it.
It is important to note that this theory isn’t set in stone and not all profiles will be essential all the time, but rather will depend on the type of team, goals and organization. A great starting point for every leader should consist in identifying which role they play on their teams and what profiles are a must for their desired outcomes.
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