As a consultant, you know how important it is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Assigning the right tasks to the right person is critical to maximising the potential of your team and delivering excellent results.
The problem is that an individual’s strengths and weaknesses often have very little to do with their job title and so assigning the right tasks to the right person can often become much more difficult than we initially think. The key to developing a high performance team, therefore, is understanding the unique preferences of each of your team members and delegating in a way that plays to your team members’ strengths.
Dr Meredith Belbin has formulated the Belbin Team Roles as a way of specifically understanding the key characteristics of a successful team:
- Plant: highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways
- Monitor Evaluator: brings impartial and objective thinking to the team, evaluating up the team’s opinions with a logical eye
- Co-ordinator: brings focus to the team’s objective, driving the team and delegating work to team members
- Resource Investigator: the networker, ensuring the team works both externally and internally
- Implementer: develops practical, workable strategies for the team, carrying it out efficiently
- Completer/Finisher: the ‘polisher’, most effective at the end of a task where perfectionism and quality control is crucial
- Teamworker: versatile and harmonious workers, team-oriented and diligent
- Shaper: the ‘challengers’, providing the drive to keep the team focussed and moving
- Specialist: the team member with in-depth knowledge of a key area relevant to the specific project or work to be completed
Each role plays a crucial part in getting a team from start to finish. The various strengths and allowable weaknesses of each role brings both breadth and depth to the project and is more likely to produce high performance teams.
Next time you formulate a team, or evaluate your team’s performance at the end of a project, think about the various behaviours the individuals on your team bring to the group. Are there gaps in your team that is leading to inefficiencies or conflict? Remember: balance is key. The rest is up to you.