Wednesday, 2 June 2010

I'm a Specialist Plant

I recently realised that I've not blogged a blog post throughout the whole of May.  However, I do have a perfectly good scientific explanation for this.

I'm a specialist plant.

At least, my "preferred roles" are that of a specialist (law) and a plant (a creative ideas person).  More particularly, my "least preferred role" is that of a completer-finisher ('s no easy way to say this, basically I prefer other people to sort out the detail, and I'll get on with the bigger picture).  This is unusual for a lawyer, most of us are archetypal completer-finishers (interested in painstaking detail).  Not me apparently.

In other words, I had an idea about how I could develop my specialism of law....this blog, and then during May (presumably while I had other ideas brewing) I must have assumed that someone else in Team Melanie would get on with the detail of the blog for me.  No such luck!

Well, at least  this is the explanation according to an analysis of my typical behaviours in a Belbin Team Role Profile.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Belbin, he was a Dr who, (not Dr Who, but a Dr who) with a team of researchers in the 1970's, set about observing and recording team behaviours, with a view to finding out why some teams worked effectively and some didn't (assuming a controlled set of resources).  The research identified 9 Team-Role behaviours, and through an incredibly simple set of psychometric questions identifies an individual's preferred, manageable and least-preferred team toles. To have a preference for or against a role is not wrong per se, and the theory does suggest "allowable weaknesses" for each role (for example the conscientious completer-finisher might be reluctant to delegate), but on the flip side, it also suggests weaknesses which if allowed to get out of hand would not be beneficial for the overall team good.

Like DISC (see my earlier post Disc World) Belbin theory is another tool which allows you to understand your own behaviour and those of others in your team.  It also helps team managers to not just build a team made up of a perfectly balanced set of 9 Team Role types, but identify where the potential gaps of behaviour in their team lie and to plan around that accordingly.

I was introduced to Belbin Team Role Theory by the very friendly and helpful Urquhart Partnership, or for more information you can go direct to

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