Group roles

Co-ordinator – Mostly A’s

  • Person-orientated leader.
  • Recognises the skills of the individuals and how they can be used. 
  • Pulls People and tasks together.
  • Tries to maintain harmony among the team members.
  • Good at controlling people and events and co-ordinating resources.
  • Good judge of people.
  • Co-ordinates team efforts and leads by eliciting respect.
  • Clarifies group objectives, sets the agenda, establishes priorities, selects problems, sums up and is decisive, but does not dominate discussions. 
  • Trusting, accepting, dominant, and is committed to team goals and objectives. 
  • Positive thinker who approves of goal attainment, struggle and effort in others. 
  • Tolerant enough always to listen to others, but strong enough to reject their advise.

Shaper – Mostly B’s

  • A natural leader who can command respect and motivate and enthuse others, provided the negative behaviours are controlled 
  • An outgoing and dominant person who has to be careful not to be domineering
  • Urges the team to achievement of the team objectives
  • Impatient with complacency and lack of progress and can overreact
  • Has energy, determination and initiative to overcome obstacles
  • Brings competitive drive to the team
  • Gives shape to the team effort, looking for patterns in discussions and practical considerations regarding the feasibility of the project
  • Can steamroller the team but gets results.

Plant – Mostly C’s

  • An ideas person, full of creativity
  • Usually a dominant person, but can be serious minded and introverted
  • Dislikes orthodoxy and not too concerned with practicalities
  • Potentially the most creative person in the team, sometimes ‘planted’ in a team for this purpose
  • Imaginative, intelligent and the team’s source of original ideas
  • Provides suggestions and proposals that are usually original and radical 
  • Tends to take radical approaches to team functioning and problems
  • Plants are more concerned with major issues than with details.

Monitor-evaluator – Mostly D’s

  • The logical, analytical, objective processor in the team
  • Tends to be unobtrusive until special qualities are needed
  • Cautious and critical of loose thinking in others
  • Not imaginative or creative, but suggests team consider alternatives
  • Offers measured, dispassionate critical analysis
  • Keeps team from pursuing misguided objectives
  • Judicious, prudent, intelligent person 
  • Contributes at times of crucial decision making because they are capable of evaluating competing proposals 
  • Serious minded and not deflected by emotional arguments 
  • Tends to be slow in coming to a decision because of need to think things over and takes pride in never being wrong.

Resource investigator – Mostly E’s

  • Goes outside the team to bring in ideas, information and developments
  • Extroverted, outgoing, enthusiastic when investigating anything new
  • Can stimulate discussion, but soon gets tired after initial buzz
  • Skilled at finding and starting to use resources
  • Popular, sociable, relaxed
  • Good improviser with many external contacts
  • May be easily diverted from task at hand 
  • Good negotiators who probe other people for information and support and pick up other’s ideas and develop them.

Implementer/Company Worker – Mostly F’s

  • A stable, self-disciplined member, aware of the team’s obligation internally and externally
  • Very practical and needs convincing of the practicalities of new ideas
  • Conservative and reactionary
  • Happy when involved in working out methods, procedures and rules for implementation
  • Methodical and trustworthy
  • Turns decisions and strategies into defined and manageable tasks, sorting out objectives and pursuing them logically
  • Aware of external obligations and are disciplined and conscientious
  • Characterised by low anxiety and tend to work for the team in a practical, realistic way. 
  • Tend to do the jobs that others do not want to do and do them well.

Team Worker – Mostly G’s

  • Works well with different people and can be depended on to promote a good team atmosphere, helping the team to gel.
  • Diplomatic and sensitive to the feelings of others, not seen as a threat.
  • Supportive and a good listener, able to recognise and resolve the development of conflict and other difficulties.
  • >Good at building on the ideas of others.
  • Likeable and unassertive.
  • Make helpful interventions to avert potential friction and enable difficult characters within the team to use their skills to positive ends. 
  • Tend to keep the team spirit up and allow other members to contribute effectively.
  • Their diplomatic skills together with their sense of humour are assets to the team.
  • Sensitive and people –orientated.

Completer – Mostly H’s

  • An introverted perfectionist, interested in detail and seeking high standards in self and others
  • Finishes tasks thoroughly, giving them complete attention
  • Can antagonise others through the over-attention to detail 
  • Worries about problems, personally checks details 
  • Maintains a permanent sense of urgency with relentless follow through 
  • They make steady effort and are consistent in their work.

Sources: West M (1994) Effective Teamwork; The British Psychology Society

Rae L (1998) Using people skills in training and development