Belbin’s team roles theory is one of the most recognisable team theories. Most people who have completed management courses or business-related degrees will be aware of the Belbin team studies.

Without going into too much detail, the Belbin team roles theory is used to identify each individual team member’s strengths and weaknesses within their behaviour inside the work place. Once these strengths and weaknesses are identified and assessed team members can be given the role which is most suited to them.

A team needs to have a variety of these roles to perform well and succeed in their goals and objectives.

There are nine Belbin team roles and in brief they are:


Plants are usually creative and imaginative people who generate a lot of ideas and are good at flexible thinking. They are usually also very good at solving difficult problems. Sometimes they can tend to be a little pre-occupied to communicate effectively and can ignore incidentals.

Resource Investigator

These team members are usually outgoing and enthusiastic with the tasks they have. Resource investigators tend to be communicative, explore new opportunities and develop useful contacts. At times they should be careful to not be over-optimistic and can sometimes lose the initial interest once the enthusiasm has passed.


Co-ordinators tend to be matures and confident. They usually are adept at setting and clarifying goals, identifying talent within the team and are good at delegating. Co-ordinators are often seen as manipulative and to offload their own share of the work.


Shapers are challenging and dynamic people who thrives on pressure. Shapers usually have great drive and the courage and skill to overcome obstacles. These team members can also be prone to provocation and to offend others feelings.

Monitor Evaluator

These team members tend to be quite calm and have a sober disposition. They take a strategic and discerning view and looks at all of the options before judging the best course of action. Often a Monitor Evaluator lacks drive and the ability to inspire others. These team members can also have a tendency to be over critical.


Teamworkers are perceptive and co-operative and diplomatic. They will listens to others and try to avoid friction where possible. Team workers can tend to be indecisive when they need to be and will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation.


These are practical, efficient and reliable members of the team. Implementers are adept at converting ideas into action and are good at organising the work which needs to be completed. At times Implementers can be somewhat inflexible and slow to respond to new opportunities and possibilities.

Completer Finishers

Completer finishers are extremely conscientious individuals who are painstaking in their approach and have a tendency to be anxious. These team members polish and perfect to benefit the team. They can be inclined to worry without due cause and are reluctant to delegate work to others.


Specialists tend to be very single minded and good self starters. They are dedicated and provide both knowledge and skills which are in short supply. They usually only contribute on a narrow front and can dwell on technicalities.

So how does this affect team building?

We utilise these team member types to help us to tailor our team building events to bring out and enhance the key traits of your team members. When building a team it is important the team is well balanced and not overly full of one particular character trait.

Understanding these traits can help when recruiting new members to your teams to ensure you have the right mix of skills and abilities and they are properly matched to the task. If you would like to talk to us about this further please give us a call on 0114 270 0330 or fill in our contact us form.

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