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Strength Based Approaches to Teamwork and Leadership for Youth

In an increasingly volatile world it's of great benefit for young people to understand how their behavioral strengths and weaknesses will influence their work and their relationships.

Their behavioural preferences will also characterise their leadership, decision-making, team-working and learning styles not just as a student, but also as they move into the workforce.

Occasional speakers, team building days and the like may not always be able to help students get to any real depth regarding their own behavioral styles. Importantly, are students taking away practical insights into how to make the most of their own strengths, and better manage their weaknesses.

When the theories and speakers are presented, or the team building days are delivered at camps, just how much of a practical nature will really stick for busy young people?

Their attention spans are pulled in more directions each year it seems, and so anything intended to add lasting value has to hit the mark quickly and in an engaging way with Millenials and Gen Z.

Many typical courses for young people that purport to impart lasting leadership or behavioral insight, seem to be akin to the weather in Mark Twain’s famous quote of “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody actually does anything about it”.

It’s great to talk about behavior, teamwork and leadership, but what are you actually going to do about it when you leave here?

GetSet profiles by Belbin offer young people, students and graduates truly strengths based approaches for future teamwork, leadership and study.

Each profile is composed initially from a person’s self -perception, and can also be powerfully enhanced with external observations from relevant people in their life (teachers, peers, workmates). This gives balanced and insightful feedback and valuable advice.

Belbin has been used worldwide in commercial, government, defence and educational environments for many years. The latest evolution of the “GetSet” system now brings this vast research and insight to those currently studying, moving into higher study or moving into the workforce for the first time.

As with Belbin’s standard profiles, the GetSet profile reports (and the Belbin Model itself) provides a way to talk about how people behave, and the impacts that our behaviors can have on one another.

The constructive language of the Team Roles is particularly well suited to young people as a platform for such exploration and self-insight.

Over many years Dr Meredith Belbin closely studied people at work in commercial, government and academic environments. From his research he discovered 9 key clusters of behavior and working that define how people contribute to teams and as a leader or manager.

He called these 9 clusters, Team Roles, and each one has strengths and allowable weaknesses.

Measuring behavior enables us to work with our strengths and better manage our weaknesses, and of course behavior is important for young people to make friends, do well at school or university and in finding work, and ultimately succeeding at work.

People’s behavior can also change over time, and many external factors including changes of role or employment can see us adapt different behaviors over time. Belbin takes this into account.

When seeking future work young people can use Belbin to better understand that their future employers are seeking people willing to learn, adapt their behavior and make contributions to the teams in which they will work.

If a person truly understands what it is that they can naturally offer in Team Role terms, and also try different Roles over time, then they have a far greater chance of versatility and success.

Each GetSet profile outlines in a simple and engaging way…

A person’s top 2 behaviors and the accompanying strengths and weaknesses.

Their overall preferences across all of the 9 Team Roles.

A useful summary of their main Team Role strengths.

Their Leadership, Communication, Decision-making and Learning styles.

How their working or operating styles may manifest in a team.

How best to find their place at work.

How others currently see and describe them (in positive and engaging terms).


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