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Team Building With Belbin Workshop (DIY)

Are you a competent facilitator (coach, Scrum Master, et al.) ?

In which case you might like to run this course for your team. Please feel free to use our course material below to run your own half-day team building workshop.

The workshop material provides an instructive half day workshop, built around a fun team challenge, followed by a facilitated reflection on the team’s performance, using Belbin Team Roles.


Course Details

Duration

3.5 hours

Cost

Free*

Max Participants

12

*NB The course material is free for use at any venue, but we can provide the venue, inc Escape Room, for £120. Please enquire for venue hire or other queries.


Course Outline

  • Welcome & Housekeeping
  • Introduction to Belbin Team Roles
  • Team Challenge – Work as a Team to Solve an Escape Room Within 1hour
  • Tea Break
  • Facilitated Discussion – Exploring Belbin Team Roles in our Team
  • Application – Where Do We Go From Here?

Notes

This course uses Belbin Team Roles as a guide for team building. It is NOT intended as a detailed Belbin training course and does not provide Belbin Reports – please see our other courses if this is desired. You do not need to be a Belbin trainer to deliver the course, but familiarity with Team Roles is helpful.

This course is provided FREE to charitable groups working in Cheltenham West, by Create on the Square, as part of our commitment to our local community. Please contact for more details.

If you are not confident in facilitating this course, please consider our instructor-led course here.


Facilitator Instructions

The schedule described below is a guide for the facilitator leading the workshop. It is assumed a skilled facilitator will be able to adapt the material to ensure their particular team will get the most out of the workshop, particularly in regards to timing.

Timings

  • Welcome & Housekeeping (5mins)
  • Introductions (10mins)
  • Video Presentation – Introduction to Belbin Team Roles (5mins)
  • Team Challenge Introduction (10mins)
  • Team Challenge (60mins)
  • Break (15mins)
  • Categories Exercise (10 mins)
  • Facilitated Discussion – Exploring Belbin Team Roles in our team (70mins)
  • Application – Where Do We Go From Here? (15mins)

Resources Needed

  • Pens & scrap paper for Introductions and Application exercises
  • A variety of different items that can be grouped for Categories exercise
  • A suitable team challenge
  • Slide pack

Course Material


Welcome and Housekeeping

A brief welcome and introduce yourself.

You may want to serve refreshments prior to the start.

Make sure people understand:

  • They will get a break halfway through
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Where the facilities are
  • To let you know if any urgent appointments (otherwise mobiles etc off)

Introductions

We can assume that the team know each other to a certain extent, so long introductions are unnecessary (you might mention that), but it is important to get the participants used to contributing from the start.

Ask each participant to write on paper:

  • name
  • role in team
  • what makes a good & a bad team

By writing it down first, they have time to consider, which should result in better responses, and also a written reference point to refer back to.

Then ask each participant in turn to share what they have written. Avoid further discussion at this point.


Team Building With Belbin Video

The video explains how and why Belbin Team Roles theory is useful in building winning teams. It doesn’t require introduction, as it is self-explanatory.

It provides a general overview of Belbin. Once complete, you can lead into the discussion by saying that we will simply use Belbin Team Roles as a way to help us understand our team and that the purpose of the workshop is not to get a thorough understanding of Belbin.

Ask the participants if they have any questions for clarification. If you are not a Belbin expert, it is worth explaining that and that you are simply facilitating the discussion, to enable the team to understand each other better.

More information about Belbin can be found on their website.

Lead into explaining the basic plan is to:

  • Work together to complete the challenge as a team
  • Reflect on how they did, using Belbin Team roles to help out draw out similar/different behaviours
  • Discuss how they could apply what they have leaned to work together better in future

Team Challenge Introduction

Explain how the challenge will work and make sure all the participants understand what they need to do.

Depending on the nature of the challenge, this might need more time.


Team Challenge

The Team Challenge should contain the following elements:

  • A goal that all the team can focus on
  • A variety of activities that draw out the different behaviours of each team member – and are easily traceable to Belbin Team Roles
  • Activities that require team members to work together, ie not 6 independent activities
  • Not too easy, so there is an element of pressure
  • Achievable within the 60mins timebox (for most teams)
  • Fun! Enjoyment is far more conducive for learning
  • Near to the training area – preferably in the same room/venue

George Team Development can supply suitable team challenges on request

Or

We recommend Escape Rooms Cheltenham, who create 60mins Escape Room challenges specifically designed to draw out Belbin Team Roles. Escape Rooms Cheltenham can also supply a venue for you to run the workshop adjacent to the Escape Room.


Break

During the break, don’t discourage the participants to talk about how they got on in the challenge (if they want), but not to analyse it too deeply at this stage.

If refreshments are provided, it is good for them to be sited away from the training/challenge area, to allow participants a break from the learning.


Categories Exercise

The aim is to encourage the team to appreciate that grouping things/people into categories can be helpful in understanding them better, but each person is unique and that the aim is not to pigeon hole people into a Belbin Team Role.

There is no right or wrong answer, but encourage them that their responses are important.

  1. Assemble a collection of related items on the table in front of participants. The items need to be unique, but able to grouped in a variety of ways. For example, fruit & veg work well. Apples, oranges etc can be grouped into categories such as ‘fruit’, ‘size’, ‘colour’, ‘citrus’ et al. (A collection of eg tinned food would also work).
  2. Ask the participants to group the items as many ways as they can (5mins)
  3. Participants feedback their results
  4. Discuss the results briefly – drawing out the fact that:
    • Each item is unique (unique flaws, bar code et al)
    • They can be categorised in different ways and no category is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
    • Grouping the items around similar/different characteristics can be helpful
  5. Ask the participants how that applies to people – drawing out those 3 things are pertinent too
  6. Mention that as we are all individual, some will enjoy some aspects of this workshop more than others – which is ok! (Some people feel team building workshops will be about being vulnerable, which can scare them).
  7. Conclude that the workshop is about understanding each other better, so we can work together better – it can be helpful to look at similar/different behaviours, but it is not about assigning labels to people

Facilitated Discussion

The discussion will have the structure:

  1. Show video of Team Role
  2. Discussion on:
    • how that behaviour was seen in the challenge
    • who contributed particularly in that behaviour
    • any allowable weaknesses (be careful participants only admit to weaknesses if they are happy to do so – and others don’t criticise)
  3. Broaden discussion on whether the behaviour is usually seen in the team in their day-to-day work (but leave discussion on making changes for later)
  4. Repeat for all nine roles

Each video takes 2mins and then there is about 5mins discussion time. Try to ensure the discussion keeps roughly to time (eg not run out before get to end), but don’t be afraid to let good chains of discussion flow naturally.

Participants may identify themselves with certain Team Roles, which is fine, but encourage them not to identify as “I’m a Shaper/etc”. Rather, remind that the purpose of the exercise is to use Belbin as an aid to understanding how they interact as a team.

Anyone who is interested in understanding their own Team Role tendencies more could pursue that at a later date, by taking a Belbin report. Please contact us if you would like us to arrange that.

Some participants may feel they tend towards all the roles, or that Belbin doesn’t really help – “we are just who we are”. In response, refer back to Categories exercise – we are individuals, but grouping can help to understand ourselves and Belbin is just one tool (there are others). (You can also point out that those who query the use of Belbin are usually those who tend to more task-oriented behaviour.)

The Team Roles are arranged in three areas: task-oriented, people-oriented and idea-oriented behaviour and the videos are arranged like this, so it is helpful to remind the participants at the start of each section.


Where Do We Go From Here?

A simple takeaway exercise:

Each participant lists:

  • One thing learned about themselves
  • One thing learned about the team

Tell them that the results will be shared and to be respectful of others.

Then, go around the team and reveal their findings, laying on table (or on whiteboard), until all participants have contributed.

Discuss what each has learned about the team. Draw out common findings (if any) and lead the team towards 2-3 improvement actions to take forward.

Encourage the team to record the actions and set some time in future to assess if they have been met. NB if they have more than 3 actions they could record these too, but not focus on them initially (if too many actions, then may not achieve anything).


Feedback

This can be used to get feedback on the workshop. You could create a simple anonymous evaluation sheet or just have a conversation (depending on your relationship with the team.)

A simple feedback could be to grade on a scale, say 1 – 5 on a hand, and explore the answers further if necessary.