Here’s what I wrote about Team Roles in Teams365 #1527:
“An important part of the team building process is exploring and clarifying team roles. There are several great frameworks by researchers around the different roles team members play. For example, you may want to explore the writings and frameworks of Belbin.
In my work as a team coach I like to build on the knowledge of the team itself, getting them to generate their own framework, and naming the different roles they play in their team. It’s common to hear terms like: Project Coordinator, Social Conveyor, Initiator, Implementer, Fact Checker, Devil’s Advocate. Each role serves a valuable purpose.
What are the roles which exist in your team?
Why is this topic important?
Exploring team roles is important for a variety of reasons. First, conflict often emerges when teams do not have clarity on their roles as a team.
Next, role overlap may lead to duplication, and role division may lead to huge gaps that exist.
Another layer which is extremely important as a team is to ensure that others understand what roles you inhabit, and what is enjoyable or not. It’s also important to remember that members of a group can get into “role fatigue” when they have to inhabit that role for a long time. The writing of Marita Fridjohn and Ann Rod explores this topic, along with other many useful team topics.
Here are some questions to prompt a discussion you can undertake as a team:
- What are the roles which exist within the team?
- Who inhabits the different roles?
- What is the greatest value that role serves for this team?
- How might that role get over-magnified or over-inhabited?
- What roles need to be clarified for the team?
- What roles are missing? What’s needed?
- Which roles are overlapping? What impact does this have?"
I hope that you will spend some time this week exploring these questions as a team, along with the questions of:
- What role fatigue is happening?
- What roles are no longer serving others?
Enjoy your conversations,
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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