The Benefits of Observer Assessments

What are Observer Assessments?

As Belbin Team Roles measure what we do in team and group situations, it is very useful to ask those we mix with for their feedback.

Observer inputs are integral to the Belbin profiling process as they provide behavioural evidence to validate the subject’s self-perception.

Limited self awareness, aspirations or mood can distort the individual’s self-perception inputs – providing an outcome that might not reflect how she/he interrelates with other people. And an inaccurate self report only Team Roles reading will limit a person’s ability to develop his/her performance in relation to those others.

Who is an ideal Observer?

A significant advantage of Belbin Team Roles profiling over other profiling tools is that it cleverly integrates observer inputs with the self-perception to give a very reliable reading of Team Roles style.

The validation value of this observer input means that it is important to enlist appropriate people to make these contributions. So people assembling profiles are advised to recruit people they interact with frequently – with work colleagues a prime source. They should also look for people who will be honest with their feedback – able to feed back the positives and negatives (we all have them!). It is also recommended that observers are people who have worked with the person assembling the profile for at least 3 months.

What is the Observer Input Process?

A minimum of four observers is required to produce all the profile reports. However, six to eight produce a more reliable reading of any person’s profile.

Once the person assembling the profile has completed her/his Self-Perception Inventory (SPI), a Belbin Report is generated and emailed back. It contains instructions on how to organise inputs from the selected contributors. This involves sending each of them a pro forma observer request by email.

This email contains a link to the Observer Assessment (OA) which is a list of words which link to each of the Team Roles. As each Belbin Team Role has strengths and corresponding weaknesses, the list is split in to two sections – List A and List B. Working online, the Observers tick the words that they feel apply. They should be able to tick words from both List A and List B.

Once all the Observers have completed and submitted their OA, a new Belbin Report can be generated. This one is more in-depth and reliable as it takes all of the Observer responses into account. The addition of these important Observer inputs costs no extra. They are included within the price of the Belbin Individual Report.

What’s Next?

Contact us to see how you can use Belbin Team Roles within your organisation, or – if you are an independent consultant – as part of your toolbox.

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