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2019 - Simple New Year's Resolutions For Teams

It’s that time again folks, a time when we all look forward to the New Year ahead and try to identify all of that “new me” stuff.

With heads still ringing from the New Year celebrations (if you are that way inclined) our minds often turn to questions such as“what might I do better?”, and perhaps even the more common “what should I give up or avoid doing?” to become a better person, leader, team member this year.

Here are some simple things that might help each of the Team Roles improve their year ahead at work.

Just some simple things to do "more" or "less" of.

These are based on playing more to your strengths and managing your weaknesses when working with others. With a little self-awareness and discipline these simple things can really help you out at work. If you are a PLANT:

More - Contributing more of your good ideas (emphasis on the good ones) to the team. Looking at things from different angles and demonstrating your creativity and originality.

Less – Evaluation of your own ideas without running them past other people with different operating styles (e.g. an ME or an IMP). Stubbornly defending all aspects of your own ideas when some criticism or modification might be required to actually make them work. If you are a RESOURCE INVESTIGATOR:

More – Exploring beyond your team to develop new contacts, spot new opportunities and to create enthusiasm within the team for new ways of thinking (helping out the PL occasionally when others might not spot the benefits of an idea).

Less – Letting people down by having loose ends and not following up on things (use a good CF to help you perhaps?). Talking so much that others can’t be heard. If you are a CO-ORDINATOR:

More – Use your calmness and authority to help the team identify goals and stay together. Make sure the contributions of others can be valued and made, and offer encouragement when needed (bringing in quiet people that might often need to be heard for their good ideas, or even the things that people may need to hear but may not want to).

Less – Forgetting to do your share of the hard work / getting your hands dirty occasionally. Overplaying your formal status or taking credit for the work of others. If you are a SHAPER:

More: Pushing towards the achievement of team objectives and keeping things moving. Stopping people from slowing down, becoming lazy or complacent.

Less – Becoming too intense and losing your own sense of humour when the pressure is on. Holding grudges and becoming too overbearing or clashing too much with team CO or other SH’s). If you are a MONITOR EVALUATOR:

More – Use your objectivity to remove emotion from team decisions and prevent ill thought out courses of action. Offer balanced and well informed opinions on all ideas and options.

Less – Shooting down ideas or team enthusiasm too rashly if not required so as to seem too cynical or negative (especially by team PL and RI). Dampening enthusiasm for new ways of thinking. If you are a TEAMWORKER:

More – Supporting of other team members by reacting to their needs and promoting harmony. Use your empathy and people skills to help defuse unnecessary conflict or arguments within the team (maybe helping out the team SH).

Less – Avoidance of what might be valid and necessary professional conflict or tough conversations. Siding with people to try and please. If you are an IMPLEMENTER:

More – Advocacy for systems and procedures that work well for the team. Help others turn ideas into actions (PL and RI) by getting -down to practical matters when the time is right.

Less – Obstructing of necessary changes or new ideas that might impede progress. If you are a COMPLETER FINISHER:

More – Keeping team standards high and use your ability to spot the details to help others who may be weak on detail and follow through (perhaps the team RI).

Less – Becoming too anxious, penny pinching or allowing perfectionism to become obsessive. If you are a SPECIALIST:

More – Showing your enthusiasm for and sharing your expert knowledge and skills. Keeping your skills and expertise up to date and accessible to others in the team.

Less – Becoming too protective of your knowledge or expert status. Ignoring the importance of the skills or roles of others, and burdening people with technicalities or too much info they may not need.

A few of these simple observations, if acted upon, will genuinely help you to play to the strengths of your Team Role styles whilst minimizing the impact of the weaknesses.

To learn more about how we apply Belbin to team and leadership development visit

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