How can we develop strong teams? What managers should keep in mind when they nominate new teammembers...


From forming to performing... Team development starts already with the selection of suitable teammembers.. However, highly qualified teams fail quite often due to their bad or inadequate social competences!

"First-class managers hire first-class employees, second-class managers only third-class.." (Anonymus)

What makes team work great? (Part 2)

Managers are well advised to use both of these "tools" extensively for the selection of suitable teammembers:

1. Belbin's model of team roles linked with the Riemann/ Thomann matrix to visualize the strenghts/ weakness profile of a candidate

 2. own "emotional Intelligence" in combination with one's instict/ intuition - a strong manager should have the courage to make personal decisions instead of relying on "pseudo-objective" criteria..

About the practical work with the Belbin team roles:

In our work we found it very helpful to combine the Belbin team roles model with the Riemann / Thomann matrix (Cotinuance - change - distance - nearness): a practical method to visualize personal profiles in combination with the social position in a team. You will get plenty of information as well as transparency out of the picture.. assumed you have prepared it well and enough time for doing it properly

Pic. 1: Riemann / Thomann - matrix 

Pic. 2: Belbin team roles combined with Riemann/ Thomann matrix

Basically every successful team needs to have ALL of these roles in the team!

Please note: a ROLE does NOT mean the job or the function! A role describes one's position in the "social team-structure"! Out of our experience conflicts in a team originate mainly from fighting for position and / or one's displeasure with the own role in the team..

The most common causes for trouble are:

1. Everybody has her/ his own "homeland" inside the model, that means a role position that suits her / him best... to feel safe in my role is most important.

2. team or team responsible do not grant me my desired role or assign me to a role totally alien or difficult to me. 

3. Another team member with a similar "homeland" claims my desired role for her-/ himself.

This is a goos example how it looks like when all team members visualize their "homelands" together in one chart  - regardless their actual role / role position in the team:

Pic. 3: my "homeland":

In this example you can see someone has made a very suitable choice of team members: 

nearly the complete area is filled with the different homelands of the team - super! Out of this picture the team is having all needed strengths to be successful! But how does the visualization of the ACTUAL roles in the team look like? Is there a difference? Most likely YES! Will that cause negative energies and conflicts which will decelerate the teams efforts? 

In the next posting you will hear more about this model and it's practical use for the selection of suitable team members .. plus: why leadership means also courage...

Wolfgang, 27.11.2017 at 09:58