Friday, 1 May 2009

Thomas PPA and Belbin part 2

So, in the previous post we began to look at how different profiles might behave and the need therefore to adapt your approach in order to interact effectively with different personality types.

In this second part we will explore the relationship between DISC profiles and Belbin team roles.

The Belbin team roles are:

  1. Shaper (SH)
  2. Plant (PL)
  3. Completer-Finisher (CF)
  4. Monitor-Evaluator (ME)
  5. Implementer (IMP)
  6. Teamworker (TW)
  7. Coordinator (CO)
  8. Specialist (SP)
  9. Resource-Investigator (RI)
These correlate at a simplistic level quite well to DISC:

  • D = SH
  • I = RI
  • S = TW
  • C= ME/CF
Of course, Belbin talks about 'Primary' and 'Secondary Preferred Roles', recognising that people, when working in a team, tend to find their 'best fit'. If you have a fairly high SH Belbin profile witha medium level of RI but are in a team with people who score more highly on Shaper than you, you'll probably shift to fulfill a role as the team's RI. This adds another layer to the straight DISC graph, allowing us to 'shift' for the good of the team.

Even so, it isn't simple in practice and the subtleties of DISC variation should not be underestimated; a High D with a High C is very different from a High D with a Low C and High I. Equally, very few people have an extreme bias toward one Belbin type (for example, I am a SH/PL/RI with a bit of TW, SP and CO and zero for ME/CF/IMP). The key to effective adaptation as a leader seems to be a recognition of the various traits of your own personality and the ability to compare these with the traits of another person. Understanding how best to relate to the personality profile of another is an acquired skill. You will almost certainly have worked with someone at some point who did not seem to realise (or care) how their behaviour affected others or the responses they received. They will almost certainly have been a High D and/or High C... If you recall another who was always chatting and wouldn't let you get on with your work... that's a High I. Finally, the person you remember who hated change and resisted any attempt to push them out of their routine... and you're probably describing a High S. The secret to an effective working relationship with any of them is to understand you and them and to know how to alter your 'normal' approach to get the best result. If I need a High C to do something complex.... I'll send it to them in writing and ask for a written response. To a High S I'll ask them what we need to do to achieve something, give them time to reflect and ask them to come up with ideas. To a High I, I'll suggest we meet for coffee or lunch. To a High D I'll tell them what result I want and leave them to decide what to do to make it happen.

This is a complex and many-faceted subject and I can't do it justice here - but no doubt it will come up again in the near future.

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