The Belbin Team Roles


Sabre is proud to offer the Belbin Model and it’s individual Team Role Profiling to our clients.

These profiles can be used to great effect not only during any Sabre programme, but also as a powerful tool that adds lasting value to the team members and the organisation back at work.

The Belbin Model

The model itself is a robust and highly effective insight into teamwork that is the product of many years of research. British psychologist Dr Meredith Belbin and a group of accomplished international colleagues (including our own Associate Corporate Psychologist Dr David Marriott) extensively tested the model on corporate managers and teams.

It is now used throughout the world as a powerful tool for building and developing corporate management and work teams. The model represents a coherent and accurate system that explains individual behaviour and it’s influence upon a team. In our opinion this model is more effective and useful to the participants than other models such as DISC or Myers Briggs.

Why use Team Role Profiles?

Individual Belbin Profiles can offer tremendous insight into individual and team operating methods. For many years Sabre has been a great advocate of using the Belbin Model to help build and develop powerful corporate teams. An inventory of Team Role Skills, strengths and allowable weaknesses can be used to add value to everything from a stand alone experiential project to the careful composition of management and business teams.

Each individual invariably brings different skills and behaviours to a team. The Belbin Model offers a unique and highly effective way to blend these elements to build the perfect team. In Belbin’s words “Nobody is perfect – but a team can be”. By having a profile of both individuals and the team itself, people can better understand teams and the contributions of the individuals around them.

How does Sabre use the profiles?

We strongly recommend that each participant complete both a Self Perception Inventory (how you perceive your preferred role and behaviour in a team) along with four observer assessments (how your colleagues, sub-ordinates and superiors perceive your strengths and weaknesses in a team environment). This data is then carefully reconciled in the world-renowned Interplace system to produce a comprehensive individual profile.

Further insightful team combination and role suitability reports can also be generated from this data (in fact up to eight different reports can be compiled on the composition and effectiveness of the team based upon the profiles such as team member compatibility, job fit etc).

Once the profiles have been completed (usually prior to the Sabre programme or event) we can use them to construct balanced and un-balanced teams for the experiential projects and simulations. This allows us to create a very powerful learning experience that focuses upon a detailed understanding of the individuals contributions to a team.

Equally valuable is a better appreciation and understanding of the diversity and value of the contributions of others.

What is the next step?

If you are interested in seeing for yourself how the model works we will do a free profile for you on one of the decision makers involved in developing the programme. The next step is to have the relevant participants complete their own self and peer perception inventories prior to your Sabre event. These are then compiled by us before being handed out and explained on the day of the event. We then use the profiles as an integral part of the programme and then suggest other means of best utilising the valuable data and insights now gained by the participant’s back at work.

The Belbin system allows the individual profiles to be used to great effect when developing real project or management teams. The common language that is developed along with a detailed understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses enables companies to build real teams with a balance of roles and skills. We can work hand in hand with you to implement these profiles in the workplace if required.

What are the possible options?

The Basic Self- Perception Inventory:

This is a detailed questionnaire that is completed by the participant and then reconciled by our corporate psychologist using the Interplace system. It is a good indicator and an insightful starting point from which to address individual strengths and weaknesses. It is not as powerful as the full profile with observer assessments (although insightful it is a little like asking someone how they perceive their own strengths and weaknesses at a job interview).

Self- Perception Inventory with 4 Observer Assessments:

This is a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of an individuals team role strengths and allowable weaknesses. The self-perception is balanced with assessments from four observers who know the participant well giving both how the participant sees himself or herself as well as how their colleagues perceive them. An ideal balance of observers would be one superior, one sub-ordinate as well as two peers or colleagues. This allows for a very balanced and accurate assessment to be made. Our corporate psychologist using the Interplace system then reconciles the self-perception and observer assessments. From this more comprehensive psychological profile future team role combination reports can be developed to aid in the development of project and management teams.

Experiential re-enforcement of the model

We strongly recommend that the profiles be backed up by a unique series of team projects and challenges that allow the roles to be explained and come to life in a non-work situation. These challenges will enable us to firstly explore un-balanced teams with too many of like roles and then later with balanced teams to clearly demonstrate the value of balanced roles and diversity in teams.

These challenges can be presented as stand alone projects during a conference or as part of an exciting themed Sabre event that is designed to incorporate the Belbin material. We have a huge range of options.

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