Tool for the Field: Who is Playing Which Role?


This tool is designed to help you understand the different roles played by members of an instructional team. You can use it as a basis for reflecting on the team meetings you attend.


After attending a meeting of the instructional team think about what transpired. Use the chart below to help you answer questions about the roles that different team members played and what they accomplished by playing these roles.

Team Functions, Roles, and Accomplishments

Functions Questions about Roles Questions about Accomplishments
Taking action Which team member(s) focused on figuring out how to put plans into action? What implementation steps did the team agree on?
Which team member(s) focused on finalizing actions (e.g., by writing reports, submitting data, or correcting errors)? What products or procedures did the team finalize?
Maintaining productive relationships Which team member(s) coordinated the work of the group? What were the outcomes of the team member(s)’coordination efforts?
Which team member(s) provided support and encouragement to other team members? How did the team as a whole react to the support and encouragement provided by one or more team members?
Which team member(s) connected the work of the team to other individuals or teams in the school or district? What were the outcomes of the effort to connect the work of the team to other individuals or teams?
Problem-solving Which team member(s) added relevant expertise to the conversation of the team? How did the team make use of the expertise of the members who contributed?
Which team member(s) provided critical feedback? How did the team make use of the critical feedback provided by some members?
Which team member(s) formulated strategies to help the team accomplish its objectives? What did the team do in response to the formulation of strategies for accomplishing its objectives?

This tool reflects research findings reported by Belbin (1993, 2010).
Belbin, R. M. (1993). Team roles at work. Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Belbin, R. M. (2010). Management teams: Why they succeed or fail (3rd ed.). Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann.