Where do you fit into a team?

Career development

No matter how independently you like to work, sooner or later you'll end up working as part of a team on a project. From school onwards, you'll need to learn how to be a team player and work with a group of people you might not have necessarily chosen. In this scenario, it's important to know where your strengths lie and decide what your role in the team should be. Whether you choose to get into the thick of it like the A-Team's Hannibal or be more like Professor Xavier masterminding things from behind the scenes , we all have different leadership strengths. Where do your team-working strengths lie?

Belbin have identified nine different behaviours individuals display in the workplace, which do you identify with?

Resource Investigator (RI)

  • Has an inquisitive nature and remains curious and innovative which brings various ideas into the team.
  • Strengths: Enthusiastic, extroverted and explores opportunities to develop contacts and negotiate
  • Weaknesses: Loses enthusiasm quickly and may forget to follow up on leads

Teamworker (TW)

  • Provides support and uses their versatility to identify what tasks need to be done and gets them completed. They make sure the team are happily working together.
  • Strengths: Perceptive, flexible and diplomatic
  • Weaknesses: Indecisive and hesitant in decision-making

Co-ordinator (CO)

  • Focuses on the teams objectives, delegates work appropriately across the team and provides guidance.
  • Strengths: Confident, defines the goals and recognises talent
  • Weaknesses: Potentially manipulative, over-delegates work with little to do themselves

Plant (PL)

  • Solves problems in unconventional ways and tends to be very creative. An innovator who enjoys coming up with new ideas.
  • Strengths: Highly creative, free-thinking and solves difficult problems
  • Weaknesses: Poor communicators, be perceived as impractical and forgetful

Monitor Evaluator (ME)

  • Provides a logical eye. They analyse and evaluate ideas other people come up with and weighs out the pros and cons before making a decision.
  • Strengths: Strategic and critical thinker
  • Weaknesses: Lacks the ability to inspire others, motivate and can be overly critical which can potentially mean a slow decision maker

Specialist (SP)

  • Offers specialised knowledge which is required to get the job done.
  • Strengths: Single-minded, dedicated and prides themselves in their skills and abilities
  • Weaknesses: Limited contribution and tendency to overload with information

Shaper (SH)

  • Provides the drive and focus needed within a team and ensures momentum is not lost.
  • Strengths: Challenging, dynamic and has courage to overcome any obstacles
  • Weaknesses: Insensitive to other's feelings and can become over-aggressive

Implementer (IMP)

  • The one who works efficiently to turn ideas and concepts into actions.
  • Strengths: Reliable, organised and practical
  • Weaknesses: A little inflexible and resistant to change

Completer Finisher (CF)

  • Checks for any errors, mistakes and subjects work to highest standards of quality control. Effectively polishes up the project at the end.
  • Strengths: Conscientious, persists to deadlines and perfectionists
  • Weaknesses: May worry unnecessarily and can be perceived as being too much of a perfectionist

Identifying what kind of team player you are will allow you to master your strengths and overcome your weaknesses to become the ideal candidate for your next job. It's also great ammunition for the next time you're asked about your team-work skills in an interview. An employer will be impressed if you can identify your core value in a group, as well as highlighting your strengths and how you're working on your weaknesses.

For more tips on how to impress at a job interview, check out our guide to tough interview questions and answers!