What's Your Belbin Team Role - Part 2
Welcome back to our guide to Dr Belbin's Team Roles theory, and how these roles apply in a marketing team. If you missed the first part of our two-parter, you can find it here. We left off with Plants last time, so we move on to the next role in the list:
Monitor Evaluators excel at judging progress and direction and have logical, rational minds that work in a methodical way. They are not swayed by emotions, so while they can make efficient project managers, they may need help dealing with people effectively.
As a marketer, a monitor evaluator type is invaluable. They can decide whether budget should be reallocated due to changing trends, they will be the ones to detach from the people aspect of the team and make the best objective decisions financially. Working with a teamworker personality helps take this rational insight and communicate it to everyone without rocking the boat. Their insight can also be very helpful to resource investigators for future projects.
Specialists are the ones with the knowledge. They have a superior understanding of their field and tend to be very dedicated in their approach. However, they can be too single minded at times, and have a tendency to info-dump.
In a marketing team the specialist will know all the new developments of the main platforms and channels. They're the ones who seem to spend a lot of time looking and not much time typing, because they are reading, ingesting, learning and percolating that information into their vast brain database. Working with plants can help pull this knowledge out into practical applications.
Shapers are the ideal partner to specialists and co-ordinators – they are great at taking information and applying it to the project or end goal, and their generally incisive nature does not offend the Specialists (although they might upset teamworkers or resource investigators).They are good at ensuring project timings do not slip, and they are good at motivating people.
The role of a shaper in a marketing team is to co-ordinate the input from different departments and align goals. Their skills are valuable at all stages of a campaign, from initial definition to the design and deployment stages, all the way through to completion. Shapers excel at this, and can absorb changing directions and keep everyone aligned through periods of transition.
Implementers have similar strengths, but are more practical. They can take a plan and ensure it happens, right down to the technical details and resource allocation. Although highly skilled at project management, implementers can struggle with change and may be reluctant to take on feedback from others.
In a marketing team, the implementer is the reliable lead for putting plans into action. They benefit from the adaptable management style of shapers when things change, as there are many similarities in their thinking styles. If the direction of a campaign changes, both these roles will be vital.
Completer Finishers are the opposite to resource investigators when it comes to project roles. They are passionate about the end result, and excel at finding faults that others might miss. With a strong attention to detail, and a big-picture approach that includes all the details, a completer finisher is the person you want testing your product or service and providing feedback. They can also help wrap up a project, although their perfectionist streak can get in the way.
In a marketing team, the completer finisher works well with the monitor evaluator to wrap a project up and feedback on the success of the campaign, as well as to suggest improvements for the future and what lessons have been learned. They can work well with shapers to create a report that can be read and understood by everyone on the team and the client.
At Parua we have all these roles under one roof, and that means that some of us wear the hats of two or three of these roles. The blend of strengths we have means that we work really well together, and we can run with different dynamics for different clients depending on the nature and scale of the work we are doing. Our client communications team use their teamworker and co-ordinator skills for account management, but have specialist skills too, which help the resource investigators at the scoping stage of the project. The plant role is one which many of our team can play, because marketing involves a lot of creative thinking in every area.
We are natural shapers and implementers because these skills are vital for running campaigns for multiple clients, while our co-ordinator and completer-finisher skills enable us to bridge the practicalities of every day work to ensure our clients get the standard of work they expect from us.
Many people are able to play more than one role in the workplace, and lots of people have tendencies and strengths of multiple profiles, so although there are nine roles in Belbin's model, the practical application of his theory means there are many blends in the real world. Understanding your profile, and that of your co-workers can help you work together more efficiently and develop better team dynamics that allow everyone's strengths to shine through.
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