Finding and establishing your role within a team is often a daunting task; you will have to consider the possible roles you and your team members fit into and also work to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Belbin’s Theory (1981)  provides a simple breakdown of the classic team members and their roles, exploring what/who is needed to build an effective team. So, let’s take a closer look at the classic types of team members:
This is typically a creative, unorthodox member of the team who is a great imaginative player and excellent at problem solving. This type of team member may sometimes place themselves far away from the team but always come back to share their ideas.
This is the networker of the group who usually has contacts to call for whatever reason their team might need it. They are typically highly driven to make connections and call on those connections; making them very useful within any team. Resource Investigators will often thrive on challenges, share information and be excellent negotiators.
This team member will always work to ensure that all team members are contributing. Chairmen/Co-ordinators strive to achieve fairness and equality in the team and will often consult with all members of the team to clarify goals, delegate roles and bring the whole team to a conclusion.
A rather dynamic team-member who will thrive on challenges and enjoy working under pressure. Shapers help the team to overcome obstacles, meet targets and embrace challenges.
The strategic member of the team who will try their best to be objective, discerning and analytical. These types of team members often assess progress and prevent mistakes by looking at all options.
The sensitive team member who will work hard to ensure that interpersonal relationships within the team are maintained, often the first to approach excluded members and encourage harmony. High in people skills these members are a great support and can resolve conflict bringing calm to the group.
Company Worker / Implementer
The practical thinker, analyser and problem solver who can turn radical ideas into workable solutions the team can tackle.
The person obsessed with details. They will have an eye for detail, be quick to spot errors and know the exact schedule of the team and its members ensuring the quality and timeliness of the output of the team.
A team member who brings expert knowledge to the team, often single-minded, self-starting and dedicated to their role in the team.
It really doesn’t matter what role you play in the team because it requires everyone to work together if you’re going to be successful. Belbin’s research tells us that all team members should identify their strengths & weakness to produce the best teamwork possible. Which team member are you?