Team Building Workshop Course Material
This is the course material for a 1/2 day team building workshop, which uses Belbin Team Roles as a tool to help a team learn how to work together better.
The workshop can be run by anyone with good facilitation skills, such as a coach, team leader, Scrum Master et al..
An understanding of Belbin Team Roles is not essential, but would be an advantage. (George Team Development can provide an experienced facilitator if required. Please contact us for a quote for this.)
It is suitable for any type of small team, eg sports, software development, management, etc. It is intended to be used for up to about 7 members (but could be adapted for larger groups).
- Welcome & Housekeeping (5mins)
- Introductions (10mins)
- Video Presentation – Introduction to Belbin Team Roles (5mins)
- Team Challenge Introduction (10mins)
- Team Challenge (60mins)
- Break (15mins)
- Ice Breaker – Categories (10 mins)
- Facilitated Discussion – Exploring Belbin Team Roles in our team (70mins)
- Application – Where Do We Go From Here? (15mins)
- Pens & scrap paper for introductions exercise and application
- A variety of different items that can be grouped for Categories exercise
- A suitable team challenge
- Videos provided below
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.
The course materials for the participants to view on the day are included after the Facilitator Notes section, here.
Welcome & Housekeeping (5mins)
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)
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 and 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 (5mins)
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 (10mins)
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 (60mins)
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
We recommend Escape Rooms Cheltenham and Escape Rooms Stourbridge, which create 60mins Escape Room challenges specifically designed to draw out Belbin Team Roles. Rooms can be booked at alternative times for workshops and training events. Please enquire for more details.
Escape Rooms Cheltenham can also supply a venue for you to run the workshop adjacent to the Escape Room.
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.
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.
- 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).
- Ask the participants to group the items as many ways as they can (5mins)
- Participants feedback their results
- 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
- Ask the participants how that applies to people – drawing out those 3 things are pertinent too
- 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).
- 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 (70mins)
The discussion will have the structure:
- Show video of Team Role
- 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)
- 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)
- 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 good, but encourage them not to identify as “I’m a Shaper/etc”. Rather, encourage them to identify which few Team Roles/behaviours they tend towards and which few they don’t.
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.
Application – Where do we go from here?
A simple takeaway exercise:
- Each participant lists top 3 roles they believe they tend towards on paper without showing others
- Then, go around the team and reveal the roles, laying them on table (or on whiteboard), until all participants have contributed. Stack duplicate roles together
- Allow some discussion amongst the team as to whether the selections are about correct. Be careful to avoid participants choices being criticised or ridiculed – emphasise it is not an in depth assessment
- Add extra notes for any missing roles, in a different colour pen or paper to highlight
- Discuss with the team whether they have a good balance of roles
- If not, what could they do about it?
- If they have, how could they contribute more?
Present Course From Here…
Please tell us:
- Your name
- Current role in the team
- What is the best team you have seen?
- What made it a good team?
1. Work together to tackle the Team Challenge
2. Reflect on how we worked together (using Belbin)
3. Discuss how we could apply what we learned
Team Building with Belbin
See you in 15mins
How many different categories
can you group the items into?
Where do we go from here?
Write down your 3 top roles on 3 separate notes