Section R Team Roles

Understanding people; The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

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Dr Meredith Belbin's self‐perception inventory questionnaire,17 answer grid, and descriptions of the team roles are available on the Internet. Additional analytical services have to be purchased. For a project, I prefer the original eight team role questionnaire. The nine team role questionnaire contains the extra role of a specialist. They are in effect an extreme plant (see Paragraph 1.3 below). As a project manager, you probably do not need a questionnaire to identify these people. Further, you will recognise that they are not really team players. They make their expert contribution and then opt out.

Belbin's questionnaire is about behaviour, and whilst it has some elements of fixed personality traits built into it, behaviour can be changed. Consequently, it should not be held on a personnel file. In fact you will want to make use of a person's ability to change their behaviour/team role and work at exhibiting the characteristics of another role (see paragraph 2.10, a., ii, in the previous Section Q).

The highest score from completion of the questionnaire is the person's primary role, and the next highest is their secondary role. Sometimes ...

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