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The Belbin Team Role Inventory was developed by Dr. Meredith Belbin, a British researcher and management theorist who is best known for his work on management teams. It is a behavioural tool which assesses how individuals behave in a team environment. Belbin identified nine clusters of behaviour or Team Roles. Each Team Role has particular strengths and weaknesses, and each has an important contribution to make to a team. The assessment includes a self-perception questionnaire as well as 360-degree feedback from team members, and it scores individuals on how strongly they express traits from the nine Team Roles.
Belbin Team Role Inventory is not a psychometric test and the Team Roles are not equivalent to personality types; an individual often exhibits strong tendencies towards multiple Team Roles. Another key distinction is that Team Role preferences are not fixed as factors such as a new job, promotion or other life change can influence behaviour. Belbin Team Roles are useful when mediating team disputes or when rebuilding teams post-conflict. They can improve self-awareness, understanding and communication amongst teams, and in so doing help team members to recognise each other’s strengths, play to those strengths and build a more effective and contented team.
As a healthy team comprises all nine roles, team members who have previously clashed over differing work styles can learn to value each other’s unique roles and contributions to the team. Belbin can also help to identify gaps that may need filling in a dysfunctional team and help the team to understand why there may be particular clashes. Check out the Belbin institutes website for more information www.belbin.com