Belbin Team Roles—Hard Science for “Soft Skills”
Have you ever wondered why certain teams run smoothly and others just limp along? Three decades years ago, British social scientist R. Meredith Belbin wondered precisely the same thing.
After nine years of research with management teams at Henley College, UK, Belbin realized that selecting teams according to commonly assessed traits—intelligence, for example, or personality type—was no guarantee of a team’s success.
In fact, he discovered that teams made up of similar people tended to do worse than teams that were picked according to other criteria.
Eventually, he developed a list of nine skill sets that, when combined, made the difference between teams that achieved consistent success—and teams that struggled to meet expectations. These became known as Team Roles.
Using Team Role Theory, Belbin was able to predict the success of a team with an accuracy rate of 86%—even when he hadn’t picked the team members.
Now you can do the same—building and developing teams whose performance isn’t simply a matter of chance, but a matter of science.
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