Have you ever noticed that in your team there will always be someone who is a “dreamer of what could be” – and another who is the “critic”?
When studying group dynamics, one of the interesting factors at play in teams, is that team members tend to identify with a specific role in the team.
When you are aware of this fact, you can use it to the team’s advantage. If there is for instance a specific project at hand as well as an evaluation that still needs to be done, different team members bring different skills to the table. A good leader will utilize the skill set of the team as a whole.
In the 1980’s, Meredith Belbin developed a behavioral test called the Belbin Self-Perception Inventory. He identified 9 roles that people would typically have a preference for.
The nine roles can be divided into three groups of people: Action oriented people, people oriented people and cognitive oriented people. Knowing which team member has a preference for which role, not only maximizes the team’s output, but also helps when you need to guide change. You can even anticipate disputes in the team, each team member not only has a specific strength but also an typical expected weakness.