Belbin and friends: Taking a look at assessment tools


Using assessment tools can be one of the most effective ways for improving communication and interaction, but with the array of these tools available, how do you know which one is the right assessment tool at the right time?

The Metro DC Chapter of the Association for Talent Development tried to answer that question last month.

I had the opportunity to help put together and to participate in a panel presentation on the subject of assessment tools. Our panel took a look at six assessment tools that talent and development professionals can use to help their organizations. The six of us on the panel each advocated for a particular assessment tool — of course, I was the Belbin Team Roles advocate!

Joining me for the presentation were:

It was so interesting to be able to see the different assessments in a side-by-side format!

I think we did a great job in giving the T&D professionals in attendance a good picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the different assessments, and — most importantly — when each one is most effective and useful.

I particularly appreciated DiSC advocate Betsy Frantz's call-out to some of the other assessments by describing herself in MBTI, LPI and StrengthsFinders terms. We have to get Betsy to go through Belbin Team Roles soon!

Brand new to me was the Gregorc Style Delineator, which was ably explained by Christina Eanes of MindSpring Metro DC. This assessment places people in one of four categories, depending on their mediation abilities. I think I am an “Abstract Random” in the Gregorc system!

My advocacy for Belbin, of course, centered on its unique focus on teams and the roles that people contribute in a team setting. And that's what the Belbin assessment brings to the T&D table.

I've been selected to serve on a similar panel in November at the National Communication Association meeting in Las Vegas. That panel will have a more academic focus on the different assessments. And I look forward to that as well!

— DeeDee Smartt Lynch