Teamchange header

take your pick

A Wide Variety of Team Role Tests

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Management Drives? Insights Discovery, Lumina Spark or Enneagram? Or just simply Belbin? There is an abundance of models on the market to map team roles. Countless companies and organizations have already adopted one of them. Increasingly, these models use a color coding. So beware these days when you hear: “I’m mostly red”. Sure… but according to what system?

wirwar van kleurentesten - teamchange

In dit artikel ...

Models with or without color

Many team role tests and models are designed to give you an easy understanding of your personality. An increasing amount focusses on the work environment. An example is the PAPI test, developed in the early 60s, and popular in business mid-80s. It describes personality characteristics in dimensions. The test has been widely used for recruitment and selection.

Other tests aim to describe the totality of a person in a holistic type. People are conveniently labeled as, for example, “helper”, such as in the Quinn Octogram. Although every test can be used to describe roles and composition of a team, the Belbin Team Roles model is the most prominent, as it was especially designed for teams.

Among the roughly ten most popular models you’ll find quite some overlap. Not only in language, but also in the use of colors. It looks convenient, but it’s typically with the use of a color coding that misunderstanding is abound. Many people pass through more than one color system in their careers, so it’s easy to confuse the one ‘yellow’ with the other. The Insights colors, for instance, deviate from the colors in the Herrmann Brain Dominance Model, which again are different from Management Drives or Real Drives or Lumina Spark… it never ends. Many models share the same origins (I know of six variations of the Jung personality types), but some are completely unique. Think of the Kolb learning styles, or the nine personality types of the Enneagram. The interest for this rather ancient model sored around the year 2000, now you hear little about it.

The first to use color coding – to my knowledge – was Edward De Bono, who in 1985 introduced the Six Thinking Hats: thinking styles which he presented as colored hats. Everyone prefers to think with a certain type of hat. This model, once wildly popular, is now almost forgotten.

Which model or test to use, and how?

Models come and go, which is hardly a tragedy, because they all do practically the same. And with each of them you can go down the tubes the same way. What you should avoid:

  • Labeling people and characterizing them in simple slogans or even colors. This is hard to escape, because all models simply love stereotyping. A color code is useful but it is also abstract. In that sense “helper” is still more meaningful than “green”.
  • Relying on simple tests that are completed by the ‘personalities’ themselves. Self-perception is not without bias and far from stable. The repeatability of test results is usually low.
  • Using superficial tests to underpin major decisions, such as firing and hiring.
  • Trusting standardized reports, as they are so vague and diffuse that it’s impossible to not recognize the better part of it (horoscope effect). You will find strengths in it, but weaknesses are generally described ambiguously. Not much of a help really.
  • Spending fortunes on posh companies who test and measure all your staff, together with workshops, expensive licenses and heaps of merchandise. It’s a trend, since a decade or so, but cheaper options are available.

If you really want to use personality models

  • Tie the model to a specific context. Describe behavior in this team, or in this circumstance, to prevent false claims of universal truth.
  • Have several people complete a test about the same individual and explore similarities and differences of the outcomes (360-feedback style).
  • Perform a few self-reflection exercises, perhaps using a test/model, and then ask people to write their own user manual.
  • Skip the test altogether. Use a proper feedback method to learn from each other about what type of the personality model you are. Work with concrete examples and cases, again adding context (how situation affects your behavior).
  • Or escape even the model and construct your own typology. I like teams to invent their own metaphors (eg Zoo or Circus, or even more abstract, such as buildings or ships) and use this ‘language’ to talk about characteristics, qualities and pitfalls of its members.

What matters in a team is that people learn to reflect on their behavior and on that of their peers. They will learn to appreciate how collaboration improves with diversity, and that it doesn’t hurt to have a look in the mirror every once in a while.

Now, if you are still keen to use a team role model, avoid color blindness. My personal choice would still be Belbin.

Aanverwante artikelen

Geef een reactie

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *

Nieuwsbrief?

Opleiding van Teamchange

Artikelen per thema

Misschien ook interessant

Het maken van een veranderverhaal

15 Tips voor begeleiders van spelsimulaties

Interview met Martijn Vroemen over contact en contract bij teamcoaching

Mikado Management

Een wirwar van kleurentesten. Welk rood ben jij?

Feedback en kritiek geven… en ontvangen

Ik wil op de hoogte blijven

Voer je gebruikersnaam of e-mailadres in.
Je zult een link via e-mail ontvangen om een nieuw wachtwoord aan te maken.

Welk account wil je maken?

Minimaal 8 tekens, 1 hoofdletter, 1 cijfer en 1 leesteken. Gebruik geen wachtwoord dat je elders ook gebruikt.

Kom Kennismaken met ons. Online!

Kennismaken met Teamchange kan meermaals per jaar. Het is online en gratis. In twee uur bespreken we al jouw vragen. Doorgaans betekent dat: het eerste uur praktijkvragen, en na een korte pauze gaan we in op opleidingsvragen. 

De volgende sessie is op 18 mei

We starten om 10.00 en gaan door tot 12.00. In deze sessie zullen we ons presenteren en je vragen beantwoorden. Maar daar blijft het niet bij. We kunnen oefeningen doen, kennis delen en cases bespreken. Geef jij maar aan waar je interesse ligt.

Meld je meteen aan! Daarna ontvang je van ons een uitnodiging met Zoom-link (na aanmelden kom je op een pagina waar je onze Zoom-handleiding kunt downloaden). Tot ziens. Oja: de sessie is gratis.