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Change Gears  
Weekly eZine                               Issue No.767 Dt:17-02-2019

From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange

From the Editor's Desk

 

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Etiquette for any Situation

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S. Prakash
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Belbin's Team Roles

How understanding team roles can improve team performance

When a team is performing at its best, you’ll usually find that each team member has clear responsibilities. Just as importantly, you’ll normally see that every role needed to achieve the team’s goal is being performed fully and well.

But often, despite clear roles and responsibilities, a team will fall short of its full potential.

How often does this happen in the teams you work with? Perhaps some team members don't complete what you expect them to do. Perhaps some team members are not quite flexible enough, so things 'fall between the cracks'. Maybe someone who is valued for their expert input fails to see the wider picture, and so misses out tasks or steps that others would expect. Or perhaps one team member become frustrated because he or she disagrees with the approach of another team members.

Dr Meredith Belbin studied team-work for many years, and he famously observed that people in teams tend to assume different “team roles”. He defines a “team role” as “a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way" and named nine such team roles that underlie team success.

Creating More Balanced Teams

Belbin suggests that, by understanding your team role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team.

Team leaders and team development practitioners often use the Belbin model to help create more balanced teams. Teams can become unbalanced if all team members have similar styles of behavior or team roles.

If team members have similar weakness, the team as a whole may tend to have that weakness. If team members have similar team-work strengths, they may tend to compete (rather than co-operate) for the team tasks and responsibilities that best suit their natural styles. So you can use the model with your team to help ensure that necessary team roles are covered, and that potential behavioral tensions or weaknesses among the team member are addressed.

Tip 1:
Belbin's "team-roles" are based on observed behavior and interpersonal styles.

Whilst Belbin suggests that people tend to adopt a particular team-role, bear in mind that your behavior and interpersonal style within a team is to some extent dependent on the situation: It relates not only to your own natural working style, but also to your interrelationships with others, and the work being done.

Be careful: You, and the people you work with, may behave and interact quite differently in different teams or when the membership or work of the team changes.

Also, be aware that there are other approaches in use, some of which complement this model, some of which conflict with it. By all means use this approach as a guide, however do not put too much reliance on it, and temper any conclusions with common sense.

Understanding Belbin's Team Roles Model

Belbin identified nine team roles and he categorized those roles into three groups: Action Oriented, People Oriented, and Thought Oriented. Each team role is associated with typical behavioral and interpersonal strengths.

Belbin also defined characteristic weaknesses that tend to accompany the team-role. He called the characteristic weaknesses of team-roles the "allowable" weaknesses; as for any behavioral weakness, these are areas to be aware of and potentially improve.

The nine team-roles are:

Action Oriented Roles:

Shapers (SH)
Shapers are people who challenge the team to improve. They are dynamic and usually extroverted people who enjoy stimulating others, questioning norms, and finding the best approaches to problems. The Shaper is the one who shakes things up to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent.

Shapers often see obstacles as exciting challenges and they tend to have the courage to push on when others feel like quitting.

Their potential weaknesses may be that they're argumentative, and that they may offend people's feelings.

Implementer (IMP)
Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team's ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans. They are typically conservative, disciplined people who work systematically and efficiently and are very well organized. These are the people who you can count on to get the job done.

 

 

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On the downside, Implementers may be inflexible and somewhat resistant to change.

Completer - Finisher (CF)
Completer-Finishers are the people who see that projects are completed thoroughly. They ensure there have been no errors or omissions and they pay attention to the smallest of details. They are very concerned with deadlines and will push the team to make sure the job is completed on time. They are described as perfectionists who are orderly, conscientious, and anxious.

However, a Completer-Finisher may worry unnecessarily and find it hard to delegate.

People Oriented Roles:

Coordinator (CO)
Coordinators are the ones who take on the traditional team-leader role and have also been referred to as the chairmen. They guide the team to what they perceive are the objectives. They are often excellent listeners and they are naturally able to recognize the value that each team members brings to the table. They are calm and good-natured and delegate tasks very effectively.

Their potential weaknesses are that they may delegate away too much personal responsibility, and may tend to be manipulative.

Team Worker (TW)
Team Workers are the people who provide support and make sure the team is working together. These people fill the role of negotiators within the team and they are flexible, diplomatic, and perceptive. These tend to be popular people who are very capable in their own right but who prioritize team cohesion and helping people getting along.

Their weaknesses may be a tendency to be indecisive, and maintain uncommitted positions during discussions and decision-making.

Resource Investigator (RI)
Resource Investigators are innovative and curious. They explore available options, develop contacts, and negotiate for resources on behalf of the team. They are enthusiastic team members, who identify and work with external stakeholders to help the team accomplish its objective. They are outgoing and are often extroverted, meaning that others are often receptive to them and their ideas.

On the downside, they may lose enthusiasm quickly, and are often overly optimistic.

Thought Oriented Roles:

Plant (PL)
The Plant is the creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and approaches. They thrive on praise but criticism is especially hard for them to deal with. Plants are often introverted and prefer to work apart from the team. Because their ideas are so novel, they can be impractical at times. They may also be poor communicators and can tend to ignore given parameters and constraints.

Monitor - Evaluator (ME)
Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and evaluating ideas that other people (often Plants) come up with. These people are shrewd and objective and they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all the options before coming to a decision.

Monitor-Evaluators are critical thinkers and very strategic in their approach. They are often perceived as detached or unemotional. Sometimes they are poor motivators who react to events rather than instigating them

Specialist (SP)
Specialists are people who have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. They pride themselves on their skills and abilities, and they work to maintain their professional status. Their job within the team is to be an expert in the area, and they commit themselves fully to their field of expertise. This may limit their contribution, and lead to a preoccupation with technicalities at the expense of the bigger picture.

Figure 1: Belbin's Team Roles
Action Oriented RolesShaperChallenges the team to improve.ImplementerPuts ideas into action.Completer FinisherEnsures thorough, timely completion.People Oriented RolesCoordinatorActs as a chairperson.Team WorkerEncourages cooperation.Resource InvestigatorExplores outside opportunities.Thought Oriented RolesPlantPresents new ideas and approaches.Monitor-EvaluatorAnalyzes the options.SpecialistProvides specialized skills.

How to Use the Tool:

The Belbin Team Roles Model can be used in several ways: You can use it to think about team balance before a project starts, you can use it to highlight and so manage interpersonal differences within an existing team, and you can use it to develop yourself as a team player.

The tool below helps you analyze team membership, using the Belbin team roles as checks for potential strengths and weakness.

Use Belbin's model to analyze your team, and as a guide as you develop your team's strengths, and manage its weaknesses:

1. Over a period of time, observe the individual members of your team, and see how they behave, contribute and behave within the team.

Now list the members of the team, and for each person write down the key strengths and characteristics you have observed. (You may also want to note down any observed weaknesses).

Compare each person's listed strengths and weakness with the Belbin's descriptions of team-roles, and note the one that most accurately describes that person.

2. Once you have done this for each team member, consider the following questions:
* Which team roles are missing from your team? And from this, ask yourself which strengths are likely to be missing from the team overall?
* Is there are prevalent team role that many of the team members share?

Tip 2 - Prevalent team roles:
Among teams of people that do the same job, a few team roles often prevail. For example, within a research department, the team roles of Specialist and Plant may prevail. A team of business consultants may mainly comprise Team Workers and Shapers. Such teams may be unbalanced, in that they may be missing key approaches and outlooks.

If the team is unbalanced, first identify any team weakness that is not naturally covered by any of the team members. Then identify any potential areas of conflict. For example, too many Shapers can weaken a team if each Shaper wants to pull the team in a different direction.

1. Once you have identified potential weakness, areas of conflict and missing strengths, consider the options you have to improve and change this.

Consider:
* Whether an existing team member could compensate by purposefully adopting different a team role. With awareness and intention, this is sometimes possible.
* Whether one or more team members could improve how they work together and with others to avoid potential conflict of their natural styles.
* Whether new skills need to brought onto the team to cover weaknesses.

Tip 3:
Remember not to depend too heavily on this idea when structuring your team – this is only one of many, many factors that are important in getting a team to perform at its best.

That said, just knowing about the Belbin Team Roles model can bring more harmony to your team, as team members learn that there are different approaches that are important in different circumstances and that no one approach is best all of the time.


 

 

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Quotes of the Week


"The art of living easily as to money is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means." - Sir Henry Taylor

"I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. Since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. In fact, there are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name." - Larry Page

"He who is not very strong in memory should not meddle with lying." - Michel de Montaigne

"The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves." - Edith Sitwell

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From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange
Spiritual Centre

Knowledge


“Knowledge is not an end in itself, merely a means to an end.”

(C) Shri. Kamlesh D. Patel - President, Shri Ram Chandra Mission - http://www.sahajmarg.org

 

 

From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange
Story Time - Just Win


Back in those bad old days at Loudcloud, I (Ben Horowitz) often thought to myself: How could I have possibly prepared for this? How could I know that half of our customers would go out of business? How could I know that it would become impossible to raise money in the private markets? How could I have figured out that there would be 221 IPOs in 2000 and 19 in 2001?

Could anybody expect me to achieve a reasonable outcome given those circumstances? As I was feeling sorry for myself, I randomly watched an interview with famous football coach Bill Parcells. He was telling the story of how he had a similar dilemma when he began his head coaching career. In his very first season, Parcells's team, the New York Giants, was hit with a rash of injuries.

He worried incessantly about the impact of the injuries on his team's fortunes, as it is difficult enough to win with your best players, let alone a bunch of substitutes. When his friend and mentor, Raiders owner Al Davis, called Parcells to check in, Parcells relayed his injury issues. Parcells: "Al, I am just not sure how we can win without so many of our best players. What should I do?" Davis: "Bill, nobody cares, just coach your team."

That might be the best CEO advice ever. Because you see, nobody cares. When things go wrong in your company, nobody cares. The media don't care, your investors don't care, your board doesn't care, your employees don't care, and even your mama doesn't care. Nobody cares. And they are right not to care.
A great reason for failing won't preserve one dollar for your investors, won't save one employee's job, or get you, one new customer. It especially won't make you feel one bit better when you shut down your company and declare bankruptcy.

Moral of the Story

All the mental energy you use to elaborate your misery would be far better used trying to find the one seemingly impossible way out of your current mess. Spend zero time on what you could have done, and devote all of your time on what you might do. Because in the end, nobody cares; just run your company.

From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange

Inspirational Words



"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen

"I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, 'Ain't that the truth.'" - Quincy Jones

"Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth." - Will Rogers

"The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason." - T. S. Eliot

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." - James Thurber

"Every artist was first an amateur." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." - Mother Teresa

"Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." - Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange
Time to Smile

Life is Like That

Did You See Who It Was?

The young man comes running into the store and says to his buddy, "Tommy, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!'

Tommy reacts, "Did you see who it was?"

The young man answers, "No, I couldn't tell... but I did get his license plate number!"

 


From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange
 
New Initiatives by Seechange

The Round-the-Clock Non Stop Management Conclave

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From the Editor's Desk Quotes of the Week Spiritual Centre Story Time Inspirational Words Time to Smile New Initiatives by Seechange

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