All entries for Friday 27 July 2012

July 27, 2012

Follow Up 5: Final Review Part 2

Follow-up to Follow Up 4: Final Review Part 1 from Melvin's blog

kas2Subsequently through this workshop I have learnt that when a team is performing at its best, you'll usually find that each team member has clear responsibilities. Also 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. Over the range of experiences I have experienced the different issues with conflict or incorrect delegation or absence of certain role inflicting damage, ie. In the absence of co-ordinator everyone did little bits without thinking of the work need to be completed; resultant of this absence the work was rushed at the end forgetting some parts and in turn getting a low grade for the presentation.

Perhaps some team members don't complete the things you expect them to do. Perhaps others 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 becomes frustrated because he disagrees with the approach of other team members.

1sdOn the whole I have come to learn, that the team roles each person plays is a inclination to behave, contribute and interconnect with others in a specific way. Teams can become unbalanced if all team members have similar styles of behaviour 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.

Thus for an effective team these nine roles are key. It is vital to identify the team roles in each team so each member can play at their strengths as well as clarifying any missing team roles.

Each team harbours the different players. As in the case stated above of the basketball committee, it is vital to determine the team roles as it would help prevent conflicts, establish correct delegation of tasks (each person can work at their strengths)

Action Oriented Roles


Challenges the team to improve.


Puts ideas into action.

Completer Finisher

Ensures thorough, timely completion.

People Oriented Roles


Acts as a chairperson.

Team Worker

Encourages cooperation.

Resource Investigator

Explores outside opportunities.

Thought Oriented Roles


Presents new ideas and approaches.


Analyzes the options.


Provides specialized skills.

Knowing this, 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. Also, by understanding your role within a the team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team.

The main point I have learnt is that Belbin's "team roles" are based on observed behavior and interpersonal styles. However it is always susceptible to situational changes; your behavior and interpersonal style within a team is to some extent dependent on the situation. This is because it relates not only to your own natural working style, but also to your interrelationships with others, and the work being done. Among teams of people that do the same job, a small number of team roles may prevail. For example, within a research department, the team roles of Specialist and Plant may be filled by several people. 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.

If I had to give five tips based on what I have learnt and experienced, to someone who will be working in a group, I would suggest the following:

First of all, spend enough time to introduce yourselves so as to develop confidence, respect and trust towards the other team members;

Secondly, organise the roles and tasks in accordance to skills, capabilities and desires, in order to make everyone happy and satisfied with their work;

Thirdly, promote a healthy and effective working environment, where flexibility and discussions are two main pillars;

Fourthly, constantly check on the progress of all members, remind the team of the goal you are aiming towards and make sure that the group is following the timeline initially set up;

Finally, reflect on the outcome and the process of the teamwork, so that mistakes can be corrected and the team learns through these.

image6.gifThus in conclusion, this workshop has truly given me the understanding of how to put together an effective team, work together as an effective team and succeed as a effective team. Team working has really opened my eyes to the team dynamics which I had no knowledge about previously, and one which I just left to a person being good or bad, quite a childlike methodology. I really hope I can develop the skill I learnt in identifying the different roles, building on my strengths which also being flexible for the betterment of the team. My real team experiences where I have implemented the learnt theory has beyond doubt opened my eyes to the reality of team working and how you can use the belbin’s profile to attain the most out of the team, even if you feel the people who you are in a team with are not work focussed. Everyone works differently in a team and it is playing at each person’s strengths that attains the stunning results. Create the ‘PERFECT CIRCLE

Best Regards

Melvin Jose

Follow Up 4: Final Review Part 1

Follow-up to P3 Follow Up 3: Tackling issues, not as one but in a group! from Melvin's blog

“Understanding and analysing the traits of each of the group members”

team.gifIndividual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, acivilization work.” Vince Lombardi
Adding to the previous post on my roles in the basketball committee, I would like to add that there were occasions where I adorned the different roles.

As the president of the basketball committee has been ill as of late, I became the link between the committee and him. As I have previously have performed event organisation roles during my undergraduate years, I decided to take charge bringing to light the situation to committee. Illustrating the need to starting fixing venue, date and organising teams. With numerous tasks, I firstly brainstormed with the committee all the requirements, following which delegated the work and divided it appointing the correct team player for the task at hand. Having a really good public speaker amongst us, I was quick to pick him out as the resource investigator to talk to possible venue personnel etc . Thus in this way I delegated the work amongst us, based on team profiles.


An issue arose with this person during the brainstorm. During the session, another member came up with the idea of obtaining a venue with an electronic score board, as well as having a professional videographer tape the whole match. Clearly this person was the plant. However the issue arose, when the other person (supposed to be the resource investigator), disagreed the idea straight away saying it was slightly unrealistic. Only when he spoke about the monetary aspects and the difficulty in finding a cheap professional videographer, did I realise he also had a secondary role as an implementer. This was the area where I stepped in as a team player and tried to lighten the mood by bringing to light the grandness and beauty in having a professional video taken, which could also be a good video for the website and thus attracting more future members. I also added that a cheaper option could be found suggesting I would help the resource investigator to find an alternative. This was a key area where actually determining the tendency of each person towards a team role. As in this case determining the qualities and tendencies(My first action point) illustrated the pros and cons of each team role. As with the case of the resource investigator being quite extrovert and enthusiastic, it really helped the tasks. However also being an implementer meant inflexible, which in the case with the plant meant a conflict situation. Thus this identification was vital based on individual traits, shown in the table. It is also key to understand each role comes with an allowable weakness, but if the team is balanced a weakness of one will be counteracted by the strength of another.

cqjvsdWith the lack of time we decided the venue and video amongst us. While he handled the venue I along with 2 other members scoured the internet and their own contacts for a cheaper option. It was then I decided to post some flyers in the library at Warwick and in school of Life sciences, thus playing the role of implementer to get the video organised for the match. Following this I got contacted by students who are good with video editing. Free lancing the video was the best option as we got a cheap deal, and upon asking them for previously done videos chose one for the video.

My ME role is one that I naturally perform. Throughout the whole process I kept an eye on the time line and how far the tasks have been completed. At time criticising ideas and keeping a track of who does what, whilst pushing members to get work completed (SHAPER).

Another example where ‘Understanding and analysis of the traits’ was crucial was at the organising for the end of term meal for our course. A group of us decided to set up a meal two of the members were given the job of deciding on the place, whilst the remaining 3 including myself focussed on letting people know through the intranet, inviting our tutors as well as organising a trip to Alton towers. So as initially the venue was not fixed everyone was notified that the location would be fixed in a day or two. We met up to get their ideas on location , however they were ready with a grand location already. So we told everyone of the location, but about a week away from the set date for the meal none of us were told about the cost etc. Thinking they must have already sorted and booked it we left it and didn’t confirm with them. About 4 days before the set date, I was a little worried and went to find out about the cost of the venue they had booked. It was only then I came to know they hadn’t booked the place. They just kept re thinking of the venues, without notifying us and without even keeping in mind the gravity of the situation. It was then I realised that they were PLANTS coming up with brilliant locations, but not effectively communicating with the group about their idea as well as failing to state the cost that was going to be charged (£40 per head). This was clearly not suitable and panicking I took charge of splitting the group up to assess the situation, together discussing possible venues but always criticising on how good the venue looked and the price they charged. It hadn’t realised that the individuals were not implementers or for that matter resource investigators. Therefore the team struggled and nearly messed up the last meal of the year for degree colleagues to come together before going our separate ways at the end of this month. I am happy to say the ‘Meal Was Saved’ and we came up with better location at the ‘Tarsus Hotel’.

Part 2 to follow

Best Regards

Melvin Jose

July 2012

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