It is easier to work effectively with people when you are given some expectations of their tendencies and preferences. Self- and Observer Assessments give a greater understanding of how an individual behaves in a group situation.

Observer Assessments provide independent evidence about an individual's team roles. A Self-Perception test is reliant on an individual's sense of personal realism. Some people answer in terms of how they would like to contribute, rather than how they really behave.

Team Roles develop during the course of a career. Whilst it is unusual for someone's Team Role profile to reverse completely, it is subject to change. Certain roles could mature as a result of experience and conscious attention, or circumstantially - in response to the demands of a new job or promotion, for example.

Sharing your Team Role preferences enhances understanding and gives members of the team reasonable expectations of one other, helping to avoid disappointments and misunderstandings.

Sometimes the strength of a particular Team Role has to be bought at the cost of a Team Role weakness. For example, a person whose preferred role is Monitor Evaluator is likely to be objective, impartial and good at weighing up all possibilities to make a carefully considered decision. Yet someone with these strengths may well come across as unenthusiastic or even boring. Without Team Role understanding, this failure to inspire the team might be allowed to obscure the individual's strengths. Team Role weaknesses can be comprehended as the price to be paid for the strength, and as such, they are termed "Allowable".

In some circumstances, an individual will need to forego using the leading or preferred Team Role and adopt another in its place. It may be that there is no good example of a particular role within the team, or perhaps that another person is already contributing on common, preferred ground. Such a shift from preferred behaviour is known as "making a Team Role sacrifice".

    You should take on and develop these roles as much as possible, because this is where you are likely to make your mark. You should also be aware of your lowest roles and find a strategy to avoid having to play them. Try to work with people with the opposite strengths and weaknesses to your own.

    There is no sanctioned self-scoring method available for completing the Belbin Self-Perception Inventory (SPI). If you are using a self-scoring version of the questionnaire, it is out-of-date and not normed. It is likely to lack the Specialist role, will not provide feedback and may be an infringement of copyright. Please see the Copyright section for details.

    In short, no! However, if you are using the reports on a regular basis, or would like to ensure that you are getting the most out of the reports, we would strongly advise attending the Belbin Accreditation course.


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    How To Guides

    Belbin Reports can be used whenever you are looking at maximising both individual and team performance in the workplace. Our series of How To Guides will enable you to get the most out of your Reports.

    Session Ideas and Handouts

    Here are some handouts that can help you and your team members gain a better understanding of the BELBIN Team Role language.

    Belbin Reports

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