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Understanding Team Roles
Understanding Team Roles
Team Roles can help you understand your roles on a team, along with your team's makeup, imbalances, what each individual role plays.
Mindy Aufderheide avatar
Written by Mindy Aufderheide
Updated over a week ago


  • Functionality is based on the research of Meredith Belbin, but Cloverleaf does NOT use the Belbin company’s assessment in this feature.

  • Cloverleaf uses data points from multiple assessments within our offerings to correlate to specific team roles.


  • Belbin’s model has 9 roles with the 9th being a specialist role.

  • Cloverleaf has 8 roles and has slightly modified names to better represent how modern teams work and function.


Cloverleaf provides some insight recommendations for individuals considering which roles they could be best suited to fill for a given team. These recommendations

fall into three categories:

Preferred Roles (3 dots) - would excel or be considered a strength in the particular role.

Manageable Roles (2 dots) - could fill the role competently, often in a short-term or situational basis. If they are asked to fill this role over a longer period of time it could lead to burnout, lower performance or disengagement.

Least Preferred Roles (1 dot) - while they could serve the role in a pinch, being in the role could put them under stress or lead to missed expectations or under performance.


It is important to understand that even “unbalanced” teams can be successful, Belbin’s research indicated that having someone that plays each of the team roles at a high level increases the chances of high levels of performance, but the absence of a role doesn’t mean the team can’t produce at a high level.

In fact, the right mix can often come down to the type of team they are.


  1. Unrepresented - having a role that isn’t represented by someone on the team or potentially represented but as a Least Preferred Role could mean there is a void for the team at some point in time. The team’s struggles could be predictable if that situation presents itself. Not having a strong Driver could mean missing important deadlines or lacking a Finisher could mean small details get overlooked and the team never is able to delight the client.

  2. Over represented - could lead to internal competition, possible power struggles. Having overweight to Innovator (especially without a strong Driver) could mean repeating the same brainstorming sessions with no clear outcomes.


Summary: It is important for each person to know their Team Roles as well as their colleagues so that they can ensure they are using their collective strengths to achieve their full team potential.


Innovators are ideas people. There is always a steady stream of new ideas. The innovator team member is great in environments where new and fresh ideas or concepts are regularly needed such as product development, branding and design or envisioning the key activities of a project plan.


  • Creative

  • Imaginative

  • Free-thinking

  • Rich in ideas

  • Problem solver

  • Can often use unconventional means

  • Good listener

Resourcers are connectors that bring ideas, people, skills and knowledge from outside the team or organization to the task at hand at just the right time and place.


  • Outgoing

  • Enthusiastic, networker

  • Explores opportunities and ideas

  • Develops contacts

  • Strong communicator

  • Curious

Coordinators can make sense of a lot of complex data to help organize the work and create clear responsibilities and roles necessary for the work to be accomplished efficiently and effectively.


  • Mature

  • Confident

  • Clarifies goals

  • Good delegator

Drivers have a relentless energy and focus towards outcomes. They are able to keep the team focused on deadlines and deliverables and ensure that outcomes are achieved.


  • Challenges team to strive for success despite constraints.

  • Dynamic, thrives on pressure.

  • Has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles.

  • Keeps the team moving and avoids losing focus or momentum.

Monitors are great at keeping tabs on progress and having an innate sense of where things stand with a team or with progress towards goals. They are able to stay out of the weeds to keep a broader perspective that is often necessary to keep a project in line with broader objectives.


  • Sober, strategic and discerning.

  • Sees all the options and judges logically, accurately and impartially.

  • Crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Prudent

Teammates are key team members for creating culture and sense of belonging on the team. They provide an environment where everyone feels known and cared for. Teammates are often able to find common ground and help the team bounce back from conflict.


  • Co-operative, perceptive and diplomatic.

  • Listens and averts friction

  • Flexible and supportive.

  • Helps the team to get and complete the work required.

Implementers can get things done. They push through difficult challenges or tough problems and can get tasks to done. They are persistent and disciplined with a focus towards completion. Implementers tackle problems in a systematic way.


  • Doer

  • Puts ideas into action and a workable strategy.

  • Reliable

  • Efficient

  • Disciplined

Finishers are the key differentiators to a great customer or product experience. They think of and take care of the small details that take the outcome from good to great.


  • Ensures that the work is completed properly.

  • Can be conscientious and anxious.

  • Polishes and perfects to the highest standards of quality control.

  • Attention to detail

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