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This Belbin Team Role and Work Role information site is sponsored by CERT Consultancy & Training
It is edited by Barrie Watson, who is a director of Belbin Associates and CERT Consultancy & Training. The purpose of the site is to provide free information for people using or planning to use Meredith Belbin's Team Role model and other Belbin tools techniques and philosophies.
The answers and information provided on this website represent my own personal views and opinions, except where stated otherwise.
FAQ’s relating to the Belbin Team Role assessments
Q Is it compulsory to be accredited or certificated to use Belbin Team Role profiling
A No, it is not compulsory, because Belbin Team Role assessments are of a behavioural rather than psychological nature and the reports are generated by a computerised expert system. It is highly recommended however that consultants, trainers, facilitators and others involved in giving advice and feedback attend an approved Belbin accreditation course. (For more details )
Q In the past I have used a self-scoring Self Perception Inventory can I still use it?
A There is much misunderstanding about this so let me provide you with an extract from a Belbin communication put out in October 2001: "Many of our telephone calls request information on the copyright of Belbin materials, in particular, the use of the self-scoring Self-Perception Inventory published in Meredith's book Management Teams Why They Succeed Or Fail (1981). To clarify our position, we own the copyright and do not allow this questionnaire to be reproduced in any form. Certainly individuals may purchase the book and complete the SPI for their own personal development, but any wider usage is an infringement of copyright. In fact, we do not recommend the use of this questionnaire anymore, as it is obsolete (no Specialist Role), lacks the balance of Observer input, and most importantly, does not offer responsible advice." I hope that makes it clear but if you still have any doubt about the copyright of any material you are using do contact me and I shall be pleased to clarify things with Belbin Associates.
Q What's the name of the book containing the Belbin Self Perception Inventory and
information about the Team Role model?
A The original book written by Dr Meredith Belbin describing the development of the Team Role model and containing the self-scoring Self Perception Inventory was called Management Teams - Why They Succeed or Fail. (Publisher: Butterworth Heinemann) The third edition of this book was published in 2010. This contains additional material, including some case studies and comes with a free offer of a Belbin profile using the latest computerised methodology.
Q The original edition of the inventory included 8 team roles and the specialist
role was not included. I have recently seen a copy of the inventory where each of
the 7 sections contain 10 items. Are there now 10 team roles?
A The Specialist Team Role did not become apparent until the methodology was applied in the business world, a few years after the publication of Management Teams - Why They Succeed or Fail which described the original experiments of Dr Belbin.
The current version of the Self Perception Inventory has 10 statements in each section because they include a 'control' element - a statement that is used to provide some indication of the robustness of the results. There are still only 9 Team Roles.
Q Where can I get the latest Belbin assessment forms?
A to obtain the latest assessment forms free of charge.
Q I understand computer software is available for producing Belbin profiles, how
can I find out more about it?
A Click here and ask for a free Interplace brochure.
Q How can I obtain the new computer generated reports?
A There are three ways to obtain the reports generated by the Belbin Interplace computer system. For further information to help you to decide the most cost-effective approach for you please click here.
Q I have been told there is now a facility for adding 360 degree feedback. Is this
A Yes, the facility now exists for adding Observer Assessments to provide feedback on how others see you. This is one of the big advantages of the Belbin Interplace system as it provides a much more robust profile than methods based on self reporting only. If you would like to see examples of some of the reports based on the feedback of observers and ask for "Example Reports".
Q Why is the observer assessment different from the self assessment?
A The two assessments have a different perspective and purpose. The Observer Assessment is constructed to elicit what behaviours have been observed by work colleagues using a practical evidential approach. This is not so appropriate for use by the self as many people are not able to stand back and realistically assess their qualities in this way. The Self Perception Inventory is therefore designed to provoke people to think how they would naturally behave in given situations as a way of eliciting their Team Role tendencies using a degree a self reflection.
Q Can you please explain the advantages and disadvantages of Belbin profiling?
A I think the main advantage is in how it provides a non-confrontational and non-hierarchical language to describe a person's natural behavioural tendencies. The fact that it is behavioural based (rather than a psychometric assessment) and easily understood and used by people at all levels in an organisation is of course a big advantage, plus of course the facility for observer feedback.
The main disadvantage is that as behaviour is more open to change the assessments need to be done a reasonably regular intervals. This may however be regarded as an advantage and something that should be encouraged.
Q If I answer the questionnaire again, in a different frame of mind or with different
emotions, will my results change significantly?
A Obviously, when a person completes the Belbin Self Perception Inventory it will be influenced by recent events and circumstances but it still provides a useful indicator of their natural workplace behavioural tendencies, providing the person has been honest when completing the inventory.
Generally speaking this behavioural pattern is quite enduring as it is influenced by DNA and genetics and related to a person’s established personality and although the way a person manages their behavioural pattern may change the order of their natural behavioural preferences does not normally change that much.
It is not unusual however for people to believe or claim to have changed a lot when in fact they haven’t. This is one of the reasons we have provided a facility to add observer feedback using the Observer Assessment which involves work colleagues reporting observed behaviour. This feedback is very powerful and enables a more robust profile and additional reports to be provided by embracing the profound conclusions of Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Q Are the Belbin Team Role assessments available in languages other than English?
A Yes. The assessments and reports are available in a number of languages including: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Other languages are currently being translated and up to date information can be obtained by clicking here.