How to build the right team around you

There are nine principal roles that teammates can assume to
create a successful team.

Nicolas Mesly | Journalist

Most companies can recruit talent based on a candidate's hard skills. But to build a real dream team, it's also necessary to be able to judge a potential candidate's soft skills. 

Verifying the education and experience provided on a CV is one thing, but gauging a person's aptitudes, personality traits and affinities is something else. It's not an easy thing to do. "Luckily, there are proven methods that can help with this," explains Marie-Claude Guilbert of Groupe Conseils MCG.

How to measure soft skills
Ask yourself these two questions to measure a candidate's soft skills:
1. What essential quality do I want on my team?
2. What is the one flaw I can't live with?

For example, being good-humoured may be an essential quality, or intrinsic value of the company. On the other hand, "I couldn't bear having an overly-sensitive person on my team," says Guilbert. Why? When projects are being developed and implemented within a team, ideas are debated, weighed, criticized, etc., along the way to finding the best solution. It's not an environment for someone who flies off the handle.

Nobody is perfect, but a team can be 
The Belbin method, named after its inventor Meredith Belbin, is one proven method for measuring a teammate's contribution. It's based on the mantra: Nobody is perfect, but a team can be.

According to this method, there are nine principal roles that teammates can assume to create a successful team:

1. Shapers
Passionate, competitive individuals who bring energy and drive to the team. Without the shapers, the team loses momentum.

2. Plants
The idea generators. They play a thinking role, and always bring a new angle to discussion that are going in circles.

3. Implementers
Reliable, methodical, disciplined individuals who look after how to turn ideas into an action plan.

4. Complete Finishers
These are people who put their perfectionist tendencies to good use on the team. For example, they remind everyone about committing to providing quality customer service, delivering a document without any errors or producing an impeccably-made product.

5. Monitor Evaluators
Strategists who analyze all the information and accurately weigh the pros and the cons. 

6. Specialists
Passionate individuals who provide specialized information from their field of expertise.

7. Resource Investigators
These extroverts use their vast network of important contacts to contribute to the team's success. 

8. Coordinators
They know how to pinpoint everyone's strengths and determine the best person to get a job done.

9. Team Workers
These are the peacekeepers, "the ones who bring the Timbits."   

Of course, to be able to choose the right collaborators, first you have to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your team. The same person may play two or three roles. But the key is to pick the people who are most likely to form a dream team.

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