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Team Coaching and The Belbin Team Roles

Belbin is a powerful model to help drive the Team Coaching process and deliver a strong foundation for Team Coaching with any client.

Team coaching is a strategic approach that develops the collective capabilities of a team, enhances collaboration, communication, and productivity.

If you are a Team Coach, then Belbin is great tool for your toolbox.

Understanding Team Coaching

Team coaching is a dynamic process for improving the performance of a team by unlocking potential based on the genuine strengths and interdependence of its members.

A Team Coach creates an atmosphere within which the team can 'be the experts' and pragmatically leverage off one another to create their own solutions as opposed to pure 'facilitation'.

Unlike individual coaching, which focuses on personal development, team coaching revolves around the collective dynamics, relationships, and importantly the collective outcomes of a team.

It encompasses self-awareness and authenticity from which team members can then engage in greater openness, goal setting, communication enhancement, conflict resolution, and building a shared vision. Of course this all needs to be anchored in real performance outcomes.

The goal is to create an environment where every team member feels safe, valued and is able to contribute their unique strengths in a practical way towards achieving common objectives.

Belbin helps build a foundation of self and then collective awareness for the process.

The Belbin Team Role Model

Developed by Dr. Meredith Belbin the Belbin Team Role model is an established framework designed to clearly identify and then leverage individual strengths within a team. It categorises team role behaviours into nine distinct categories, each representing specific contributions and behaviours.

Belbin is renowned for being easy to use and understand. It quickly and pragmatically links insights into our workplace behaviour to enhanced self and team awareness. By understanding and working with these Team Roles appropriately, teams can harness the full potential of each member, resulting in improved performance, cohesion and morale overall.

An individual Belbin profile creates enhanced self-awareness about how a person projects their behaviours into a team, and by extension how they interrelate with others. Belbin Working Relationship and Team Reports then measure and allow for evidence-based exploration of the day to day chemistry that actually exists between individuals and of the collective team.

Leveraging Belbin Team Roles in Team Coaching

Self-Awareness and Role Allocation:

Understanding each team member's strengths and preferred roles is crucial. A Belbin assessment identifies the natural behavioural roles within the team. This information in a Belbin individual and team report helps in distributing tasks and responsibilities more effectively. It helps to do so on the basis of enhanced self-awareness and by extension better understanding of the strengths of self and others in the team.

Balancing Team Composition:

A well-rounded team should ideally encompass a variety of Belbin roles. This ensures that all necessary team role functions are covered and that the team is equipped to handle a wide range of challenges. Seeing and working with the impact of 'surpluses and deficits' of certain roles and the biases that they may bring is also key.

Enhancing Communication:

Recognising and appreciating different team roles and how they prefer to operate helps foster more open and psychologically safe communication. The Belbin 'team language' allows for more depersonalised and evidence-based discussion of strength and weakness. Team members gain a deeper and more practical understanding of each other's contributions, leading to more effective collaboration.

Conflict Resolution:

By acknowledging the diversity of strengths within the team, and where clashes can occur, potential conflicts can be addressed constructively and in a depersonalised way. Team members learn to appreciate the value of different perspectives and find solutions that benefit the collective. Belbin helps us to understand and depersonalise why we may clash at times with certain people based on our role contributions. The natural role that healthy conflict can have in a team is easier to perceive when Team Role language is used to depersonalise clashes of operating style.

Team coaching, combined with the Belbin Team Role model, provides a structured and effective approach to maximising team performance with greater self-awareness and collective awareness.

By recognising and leveraging the unique strengths of each member, and harnessing diversity and interdependence, teams can achieve far higher levels of productivity, innovation, and overall success.

Team Coaches armed with the Belbin Model and its reports can help teams unlock their potential and accelerate their own team development processes.

If you are a Team Coach, Belbin is a great tool for you to have in your toolbox.


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Team Coaching is an emerging field and Belbin is at the cutting edge


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