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Psychological Safety Workshop

Using Belbin to build Psychological Safety in workplace teams

Building psychological safety in teams is crucial for fostering an environment where members feel comfortable expressing themselves, taking risks, and contributing their best.

The Belbin Team Roles model and a facilitated workshop offers a structured approach to understanding team dynamics and optimizing team performance with psychological safety in mind. It can significantly contribute to enhancing psychological safety.

The Psychological Safety Workshop suggested flow:

1.    Individual and Team Belbin reports are composed before the workshop.

2.    Insights and data from the reports are used to tailor the workshop.

3.    Deliver tailored 2 hour or half day interactive workshop.

Participants will utilise practical evidence-based insights from Belbin reports to explore individual and collective strengths and weaknesses within the team. 

The workshop is aimed at walking away with real strategies for developing quality ‘working relationships’ that enable each person to confidently project their strengths and have impacts of weaknesses understood and managed in concert with others in the team.

How does The Belbin model and its Reports help to build psychological safety in a team?

Understanding my place in the team and that of others:

According to Belbin’s extensive research and decades of practice, each team member typically adopts preferred, manageable and least preferred behviours in a team. Strengths also come with ‘allowable weaknesses’ that when understood, can build confidence for people to be themselves at work with higher confidence. 

Recognizing and discussing these ‘Team Roles’ helps team members better understand and appreciate each other's strengths and preferred ways of working, and associated weaknesses. This awareness reduces misunderstandings and promotes acceptance, laying strong groundwork for psychological safety.

Balanced Team Performance:

By using the Belbin model, teams can aim for a balanced composition and use of behavioural team roles. This means ensuring that different team roles are represented adequately depending upon the team’s objectives, which fosters a sense of inclusivity and value for diverse perspectives.

When team members see their role as essential and complementary to others, they are more likely to feel psychologically safe.

Encouraging Open Communication:

Psychological safety thrives on open and honest communication. Team members should feel empowered to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal.

The Belbin model facilitates this by emphasizing the importance of each role in contributing to team success, thereby encouraging all members to participate actively in discussions.

Building Trust:

Trust is a cornerstone of psychological safety. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses associated with different Belbin roles, teams can build trust more effectively.

For example, a team may rely on a Completer-Finisher to ensure quality and accuracy in deliverables, while a Shaper might drive innovation and challenge the status quo. Acknowledging and valuing these contributions enhances trust among team members and de-personalise clashes. 

Having a common and non-threatening language to openly discuss strength and weakness allows real conversations to occur.

Managing Conflict Constructively:

Conflict is natural in any team setting but can undermine psychological safety if not managed properly. The Belbin model provides insights into potential sources of conflict based on role preferences and a language to de-personalise conflicts.

Teams can use this understanding and team role language to address conflicts early, leveraging the strengths of different roles to find constructive solutions.

The Belbin Team Roles along with individual and team reports serve as a practical framework for building psychological safety by promoting mutual understanding, balanced participation, trust, open communication, and constructive conflict resolution within teams.

By applying these principles, teams can create an environment where individuals feel empowered to contribute their best work without fear of criticism or rejection, ultimately enhancing team cohesion and performance.

TO FIND OUT MORE: E - T - 1300 731 381


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