Blog » Coaching Models and Techniques » The Belbin Team Role model 

The Belbin Team Role model

Ever felt like you’re working in a team that is lacking something, but can’t quite put your finger on what? The Belbin Team Role model might be just the answer for you. This comprehensive assessment model helps teams to analyze their strengths and weaknesses by identifying key roles within specific tasks. 

The Belbin Team Role model Belbin Team Role model

Utilizing the insights from the system allows teams to operate more effectively by understanding where each individual fits into the bigger picture, as well as how their skills may overlap or differentiate from others around them. 

By exploring this system in greater detail, we can better understand how these roles help contribute towards a successful and efficient team environment.

In Brief : Belbin’s 9 Team Roles
  • Shaper – The Shaper is an initiator who motivates the team with enthusiasm, challenges them with difficult tasks, and fosters a creative atmosphere; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Implementer – Implementers bring reliability, practicality, and organization, ensuring focus on action and results; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Completer Finisher – Meticulous individuals who focus on accuracy and persist to drive tasks to completion, ensuring high standards; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Plant – Creative and strategic thinkers who provide innovative ideas, think outside the box, and offer fresh perspectives; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Monitor Evaluator – Monitor Evaluators assess group performance objectively, challenge opinions, and contribute logical, critical thinking; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Specialist – Specialists bring focused expertise, objectivity, and in-depth knowledge to specialized areas, aiding informed decision-making; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Coordinator – Coordinators are natural leaders who organize the team, mediate conflicts, and steer the team toward productivity; no direct cost mentioned.
  • Team Worker – Team Workers promote harmony, address issues within the group, and offer support to ensure cohesive collaboration; no direct cost mentioned.
  • The Resource Investigator – Resource Investigators are outgoing individuals who excel at networking, exploring opportunities, and bringing external resources to the team; no direct cost mentioned.

Steps To Complete An Individual Belbin Questionnaire

  • Create A Belbin Account – To use Belbin, create an account by providing personal information; no specific cost mentioned.
  • Rate Yourself – Participants rate themselves on a questionnaire assessing their roles and potential within a team; no specific cost mentioned.
  • 5-Point Scale – Answer workplace-related questions on a 5-point scale to measure relevant behaviors; no specific cost mentioned.
  • Assign Yourself A Rating – Rate yourself from 1-5, with 5 being ‘Very Like Me,’ and review answers before submission; no specific cost mentioned.
  • Report Analysis – After completing the questionnaire, receive an analysis report or opt for a face-to-face training session for a more detailed report; no specific cost mentioned.

What Is Belbin’s Team Role Theory?

Belbin’s Team Role Theory was developed by Dr. Meredith Belbin, an international management consultant. It looks to identify certain roles that people naturally prefer to take on in a team environment and how this team composition affects the productivity of the group. 

Belbin identified nine team roles which include shaper, brainstormer, coordinator or chairperson, implementer, specialist or expert, completer/finisher, monitor-evaluator, plant or ideas generator, and resource investigator. 

Belbin’s theory suggests that each team member should play different roles, based on the characteristics and skills they bring to the group, for it to be successful. Belbin’s Team Roles recognize that teams are most effective when their members pull together different strengths, perspectives, and experiences to work towards their common goal. 

The individuals in these roles share distinctive insights and skills that are necessary for any team to achieve success

Belbin’s framework helps recognize how each of these distinct roles complements one another and together build a strong and efficient team that can solve problems better than if only one role had been taken on by all the members of the team.

Belbin’s 9 Team Roles

Dr. Meredith Belbin’s theory of 9 Team Roles highlights the importance of building teams composed of diverse personalities and talents. This organizational model thoroughly identifies each team member’s contribution to the process by assigning specific roles. From the creative brainstormer to the quality controller, these various roles are designed to promote a well-rounded approach that considers all angles of problem-solving. 

As a result, Belbin’s 9 Team Roles has become a staple for many teams in many organizations for achieving ultimate success. It is an insightful tool for recognizing how team members with unique perspectives can work together effectively towards a common goal.

This approach has been proven to work in many teams, ranging from business teams to sports teams. Belbin’s nine team roles include Planners, Implementers, Resource Investigators, Shapers, Completer-Finishers, Team Workers, Coordinators, Monitors-Evaluators, and Specialists. 

Each of these roles emphasizes different strengths that make a great team successful. As a result of this method, people in each role have an opportunity to highlight their special skills while contributing in the best way possible. The whole team needs to recognize the unique value offered by each member to achieve success with this team structure.

The Belbin Team Role model Belbin Team Role model

1. Shaper

The Shaper is a unique individual who seeks to motivate teammates and bring energy to the group. This person is likely to act as an initiator, challenging the team with difficult tasks and setting clear expectations for success. 

They are assertive but also have an appreciation for input from others. The Shaper’s enthusiasm combined with their candor provides a creative atmosphere where ideas can be openly discussed, leading to innovative solutions that everyone agrees upon.

2. Implementer

The ‘Implementer’ team role is best characterized by an individual with reliable delivery skills, strong practicality, and an organized approach. People that are Implementers bring structure and process to the table, ensuring that teams have a focus on action that prioritizes getting results. The Implementer role is related to execution, having strong organizational abilities, enjoying processes and systems, ensuring tasks are completed, and reporting back on progress.

They are likely to be task-focused and well-suited for developing operational plans or designs as needed for the completion of tasks within the set timeframe. Implementers provide discipline, common sense, good decision-making abilities, and possess luck in making decisions quickly. Most importantly, they can work closely with other team roles to develop successful projects from start to finish.

3. Completer finisher

Among these is the role of “Completer Finisher”, which is essential to driving resolution and delivering results. People who take on this role tend to be meticulous in their attention to detail with a penchant for accuracy. They also thrive when given clearly defined objectives as they are usually reliable, patient, and persistent in their efforts. 

Completer Finisher, which describes someone persistent, accurate, and thorough in their approach to tasks. A Completer Finisher tends to focus on accuracy with details and ensuring tasks are completed on time. Generally calm and modest by nature, Completer Finishers are both quality-driven and organized, ensuring tasks are delivered to the highest possible standard. This constructive attitude towards work plays an integral part in helping teams reach the desired goals efficiently.

4. Plant

One of the nine roles is the Plant role, which uniquely suits the following types of individuals: those who are creative and able to come up with solutions and ideas, those who can think outside the box to solve problems, as well as those possessing a lot of knowledge. A plant on any team provides an invaluable asset – their having expert knowledge or excellent ideas encourages others to work harder or systematize processes. People with this type of skill set provide a team with focus and direction.

People categorized within this role are often creative and strategic thinkers, with a passion for finding unique solutions to complex problems. Plants also tend to be visionary leaders, able to set goals that other members of the team can rally around. 

They can come up with out-of-the-box ideas and bring fresh perspectives to brainstorming sessions. Their ability to think outside the box can help teams explore different approaches and break down existing mental models to generate innovative ideas. 

5. Monitor Evaluator

Monitor evaluators can assess how well the group is performing and what measures need to be taken to ensure successful outcomes. Monitor evaluators will often challenge members of a team or come up with suggestions that counter the most popular opinions to bring out different points of view. 

They desire to produce practical ideas for problem-solving and can help teams stay organized. Monitoring the Evaluator’s astute awareness of a team’s performance can help it succeed.

Monitor evaluators tend to think objectively and independently, considering the outcome of each idea dispassionately. 

Monitor evaluators like to analyze options and see how logical the solutions are before making decisions; this logical approach can save time and resources when solving problems. Monitor Evaluators are critical thinkers and will make sure objectives are clear and progress is monitored against goals. 

6. Specialist

The Specialist role is characterized by their focused expertise on a certain topic, allowing guided input with specific knowledge on the subject in question. This makes Specialist roles invaluable for their insight into a specialized area of the project, often with little need for general explanations. 

Specialists also bring objectivity which helps protect against groupthink, therefore helping the team make better decisions based on facts and evidence rather than opinion. 

They can easily jump into discussions where detail is paramount; however, for effective Specialists, it is important that they look after the bigger picture rather than get bogged down in specifics. 

Often referred to as the ‘expert’, this role brings a deep understanding of specific tasks from their specialized area to benefit and inform the team. This allows them to ensure that everyone in the team has enough resources to keep going forward and to support necessary growth.

7. Coordinator

As the name suggests, this role is all about keeping the team organized and coordinated. The Coordinator is usually a natural leader, and they use their skills to keep the team focused and moving forward. They are also good at mediating conflict and keeping everyone on track. Coordinator roles contend with any resistance within the team’s borders by deploying their natural ability to incentivize others and unify collaborative efforts while cultivating an empowering atmosphere.

Coordinator is the ninth team role characterized by a charismatic individual who takes control of their team environment. As the name implies, this role focuses on organizational competencies and maintaining social order by providing guidance and steering the team in a productive direction. Coordinators accomplish this by utilizing their communication skills to identify the team’s goals, develop comprehensive plans for success, and direct proceedings. 

8. Team worker

Team workers make sure that when issues arise within the group, they’re addressed properly. Team workers make great listeners as well, offering advice and clarity for projects whenever necessary. Team workers can also join other tasks to help fill in gaps or offer assistance when needed. Team Workers promote harmony within teams and provide support to ensure everyone is working together cohesively.

Team workers build strong connections with colleagues, helping to increase trust and collaboration between departments. Team workers often serve as mediators, working to resolve conflicts without sides remaining resentful or harboring ill feelings. Team worker roles are essential for any successful organization due to their ability to foster harmonious working relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

9. The Resource Investigator

The Resource Investigator is a role in Meredith Belbin’s team role model, which describes the behavior and contributions of individuals in a team. This role is typically outgoing, curious, and enthusiastic, with a talent for networking and exploring new opportunities. 

Resource Investigators are skilled at seeking out information, resources, and ideas from outside the team and bringing them back to benefit the group. They are often persuasive communicators and can be valuable assets for building external relationships and partnerships. However, they may also be prone to distraction and may need help staying focused on the team’s objectives.

Steps to Complete an Individual Belbin Questionnaire

Completing an Individual Belbin Questionnaire is a great way to identify strengths, weaknesses, and preferences in the workplace. It can help individuals recognize their talents and maximize their potential. 

1. Create a Belbin account 

To complete it, you must first create an account with Belbin, which involves providing basic personal information – such as your country of residence, job title, and length of management experience. 

2. Rate yourself

The questionnaire requires participants to rate themselves on different scales so that their roles and potential within a team context can be assessed. To complete the questionnaire, read through each of the statements and decide how accurately it describes you. 

3. 5-point scale

You will then be directed to the questionnaire where you answer questions that measure behaviors relevant to the workplace by picking from a range of statements on a 5-point scale. 

4. Assign yourself a rating

Then, assign yourself a rating from 1-5 with 5 indicating that the statement is ‘Very Like Me’. Once all the statements have been completed, it’s important to review your answers before submitting them. This will help to ensure that your results are accurate and helpful for further reflection.

5. Report analysis

After you have finished the questionnaire, you have the option of receiving an analysis report or attending a face-to-face training session for an even more thorough report. By finding out your style, interests, and skills, you can make better decisions about working with others and taking advantage of opportunities in the future.

Benefits of the Belbin Model

The Belbin Model is a well-known tool used to assess individuals in the workplace and to improve team performance. Benefits of the Belbin model include:

  1. Giving professionals insight into their strengths and weaknesses that they can use to plan their career trajectory, as well as how they can adjust to certain roles in the workplace. 
  1. With this knowledge, individuals are better able to communicate methods of completing tasks effectively and understand what tasks they should take on based on their skill set. 
  1. Belbin Model encourages teams to work together more seamlessly by offering insight into where each team member brings value and how certain roles can come together to create a successful whole.
  1. It enables managers, team members, and individuals to gain a better understanding of how the team works together, identifies an individual’s strengths, and encourages communication and collaboration. 
  1. In organizations, it provides useful insight into how different roles might be formed to leverage each member’s skillset to create a successful team.  
  1. Belbin Model helps to unearth issues within the organization’s structure that can reduce productivity or hinder success. 
  1. Combined with effective leadership and management practices it can help develop strong teams that work together harmoniously to reach common goals efficiently.

Limitations of the Belbin Model

The Belbin Model is a popular team-building tool that assesses individual roles and responsibilities within a group setting. However, it is not without its limitations that should be taken into consideration when utilizing this model. 

  1. The assessment relies too heavily on self-reported data which may be unreliable or biased. 
  1. The roles identified in the assessment are limited in their possible applications and may not accurately apply to all situations. 
  1. Additional training is required of the facilitator to interpret the results effectively.
  1. These roles must often be periodically reassessed due to varying circumstances and changes in personality and beliefs over time. 
  1. Finding the right blend of personality types within an organization can be challenging and will require careful effort and oversight from management.
  1. The Belbin Model relies solely on self-assessments by each individual which means it can be fragile to bias or inaccurate assertions. 
  1. It can’t predict future team behavior since the analysis is done at one single point in time. 
  1. It assumes that the team needs are fixed and unchanging when in fact teams often have different requirements depending on their makeup. 
  1. Due to its complexity, Belbin Model can be difficult for some people to implement properly or fully understand its implications. 

Despite these limitations though, the Belbin model should not be overlooked but rather considered with caution regarding these factors.


The Belbin Team Role model is a great tool for understanding how people work together in teams. It can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, and it can also help you understand how to communicate with each other more effectively. By using this model, you can create a more productive and cohesive team that works well together.

The Belbin Team Role model is a helpful tool for assessing team members and roles within a team. It can help teams identify areas of strengths and weakness, as well as a potential conflict. By understanding the different team roles, teams can work together more effectively to accomplish their goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is an example of a Belbin role?

Each role has its strengths and weaknesses, each is essential for optimal team success. An example of a Belbin role is the Plant – someone with out-of-the-box ideas and creative problem-solving skills who can bring new perspectives to any task. 

They usually have extensive knowledge in the areas where the team needs it, have a strong visual memory, and are comfortable with complexity, making them great “what if” thinkers. Although they can be disruptive to structure at times, plants rarely stick to conventional methodologies and provide valuable insight that may help teams reach innovative solutions.

2. Why is Belbin’s theory important?

Belbin’s theory is an essential cornerstone of modern human resource management. Assessing individuals within a team provides insight into the skills and capabilities each person brings to the group, which can then be used to create a well-rounded, fully functioning team. 

By identifying the different roles individuals play and managing the interaction between them, Belbin’s theory can make sure that everyone within a team has their voice heard and their needs met. 
Additionally, applying the concept to teams helps identify gaps in knowledge or expertise that need filling, allowing managers to effectively utilize time and resources.

3. Is Belbin’s theory relevant for coaches?

Belbin’s theory is an interesting and relevant concept for coaches in today’s sporting environment. It identifies and classifies different collaborative behaviors that can be useful for both individual and team sports. Belbin highlights the importance of understanding team dynamics, which is integral to effective coaching. 

His model provides strategies and techniques that can be used to get teams working together more effectively, enabling coaches to identify each member’s strengths as well as determine how teams may need restructuring. 

As a result, Belbin’s theories are invaluable tools when it comes to coaching and has contributed greatly to our understanding of successful team management practices.

Table of Contents