Working out your team role
- What team role are you playing at work?
- What contribution are you making to the team?
- Does your team role match your personality preferences or stretch you?
This web page helps you work out your team role and, if you are familiar with your Myers Briggs personality type, helps you to compare your team role and personality preferences.
What is a team role?
The MTR-i defines your team role in terms of your 'products', or the contribution you make to the team.
Products vs tasks
In the context of the MTR-i, 'product' is a term that covers both products and services. It describes the end result of an activity, or the effect that you have on a situation or on the ideas/information being considered by the team.
'Products' are different to 'tasks'. For example, suppose you are a motor mechanic, there are a variety of tasks that you undertake: carrying out an inspection, rectifying faults, and servicing the car. These are tasks, but they are not 'products'. The end result of these tasks is to 'produce' a car that is running smoothly, and to generate in the customer a feeling of satisfaction with the overall service provided by the garage.
Just as a 'smooth running car' is a product that is specific to a mechanic's job, many of your products will be very specific to your job - eg: a journalist produces an article for a newspaper, a waiter moves food from the chef's counter to the table, a financial consultant produces recommendations for the client.
When using the MTR-i to work out your team roles, you should not think about the tasks you carry out, but the end result or effect of those tasks: the products you contribute, or the effect that you have on the team.
Hard vs soft products
Products fall into two main areas: hard products and soft products. When a mechanic produces a 'smooth-running car', it is an example of a 'hard product' - it is something tangible, that can be measured objectively (and often is) using a special computer and/or by taking the car for a road test.
The feeling of satisfaction in the customer is a 'soft product'. It is intangible and, although it can still be measured (eg: with a customer satisfaction questionnaire), such measurement is subjective.
Your contribution to the team consists of a mixture of hard and soft products. Often, 'hard products' are defined in job descriptions, or work objectives, but 'soft products' are usually less clearly defined or not defined at all.
Team role products
The MTR-i team roles describe your "soft product" contribution to team discussions and interactions. For example, when a team meets to resolve a team problem, each team member contributes a different type of perspective to the discussion, and tries to achieve a different effect. One person may want to clarify the problem being discussed; another may suggest ideas for resolution; a third may try to analyse the situation and produce an explanation of how the problem came about. The MTR-i team roles show the different types of contribution that are made to the team.
There are eight MTR-i team roles:
- Coaches produce agreement and harmony across the team, trying to create a positive team atmosphere and reach a consensus.
- Crusaders produce a sense of priority, stressing those issues that have most importance so that discussions are focused on the most valuable topics
- Explorers uncover new potential in situations and people and explore new areas and the possibilities that they present
- Innovators produce a sense of imagination and contribute new and alternative perspectives and ideas
- Sculptors bring things to fruition, producing action to address the most urgent matters, and using tools or techniques that they know (from experience) will work
- Curators produce a clarification of ideas and information, producing a better knowledge and clearer picture of any situation
- Conductors produce structure and introduce a logical organisation into the way things are done
- Scientists produce explanation of what is happening and the cause of problems, and generate models to demonstrate how things work
Each team role contributes different 'soft products' the way the team interacts. In the second article (of two) we'll take a look at how to use products to work out the contribution you are making to the team, and therefore your team role.
©2013 Team Technology. Further articles/resources that may be of interest include: Personality Test, Personality Type Descriptions, Myers Briggs overview, The Basics of Team Building, What Career is Right for Me?, and Career ideas.