Personality test for better teams



It’s not who you are, but how you fit in a team.

While applying to a job position I once had to complete a personality test. I had done similar tests when I was younger. I even ventured to the world of Numerology. But this test was no bullsh!t.

The methodology was created by a scholar named Meredith Belbin. In the end, the test will fit you into one or more team roles, which will reveal your behavioural strengths and weaknesses. This is a great tool for managers to build teams made of complementary individuals, thus taking advantage of each one’s strengths and minimizing shortcomings and conflicts.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Belbin defines nine roles and no role is better than the other — they’re just different, complementary or conflicting. Below is a summary, but there’s also a detailed list of each roles’ (dis)advantages if you need.

  • Implementer: pratical – plans and carries out implementations, as efficiently as possible.
  • Monitor: analytical thinker – makes impartial judgements based on pros and cons.
  • Completer: great at quality control – reviews and polishes work to perfection.
  • Team worker: diplomatic negotiator – helps others do their work and keeps group cohesion.
  • Shaper: leader – source of drive and motivation, argumentative, “come with me or get lost”.
  • Coordinator: delegates each task to the best member to accomplish it.
  • Planter: highly creative – solves problems unconventionaly, is a source of original ideas.
  • Investigator: less egocentric than the Planter – researches ideas from others/outside.
  • Specialist: “special-ones” – skillfull and commited, focused on low-level implementation.

Take the test

personality test meme

The test is called Belbin’s Self-Perception Inventory (SPI). To speed up things, and because I’m a nice person, I created a spreadsheet ready to download and use. I must warn you that I used an optimized version of SPI (56 statements instead of 64), however results should be equivalent. The first page contains the assessment and the second page the results. Download it and follow the steps:

  1. The Self-Assessment Inventory is composed of seven sections, each with eight statements.
  2. For each section, distribute a total of 10 points between the statements based on which best describes your behaviors or attitudes. The points may be distributed between several statements or to a single statement. You are allowed a total 70 points. Take your time and respond honestly since there are no right or wrong answers.
  3. After you complete the seven sections, open the Result worksheet. Higher rankings represent greater predispositions.

In my case, the test was extremely accurate. Wanna know what I got? No? OK, I’ll tell you anyway. Here are my three main roles:

  1. Monitor/Evaluator. Logical, listens to all opinions and values them equally, judges accurately. However, lacks drive and ability to inspire others.
  2. Team worker. Diplomatic, cooperative, worries about others’ problems and helps them. However, is indecisive and requires direction.
  3. Completer. Delivers on time, painstakingly searches omissions and ensures coherence and quality. However, worries unduly and has a tendency for perfectionism.

What about you? What’s your team role? You may now use this knowledge to build your next dream team or cleverly hire and arrange your companies’ employees.

  • Deborah Breacher

    Hello Diogo,

    I am contacting you from Belbin.

    We glad that you have found Belbin useful, however we must ask that you remove your spreadsheet – the Belbin Self Perception Inventory (SPI) is protected by our copyright and any versions that have been reproduced (or amended and reproduced) is a breach of this copyright. You can find further details on our website:

    Please do let us know if you have any questions.
    Deborah Breacher
    +44 1223 264975

    • Hi Deborah. My apologies, I did not know it has copyrighted. I just finished removing the SPI spreadsheet as you requested. Sorry for the delay, I was in a vacation.

      • Deborah Breacher

        Hi Diogo,
        That’s great, thank you!

  • Ricardo Santinho

    Very nice, I didn’t know this test!
    I got Completer-Finisher, Implementer and then a tie between Team worker and Resource Investigator.
    Very accurate my friend 🙂