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Plants are innovators and inventors and can be highly creative. They provide the seed and ideas from which major developments spring. Usually they prefer to operate by themselves at some distance from other members of the team, using their imagination and often working in an unorthodox way. They tend to be introverted and react strongly to criticism and praise. Their ideas may often be radical and may lack practical constraint. They are independent, clever, and original but may be weak in communicating with other people on a different wavelength.



The main uses of a PL are to generate new proposals and to solve complex problems. PLs are often needed in the initial stages of a project or when a project is failing to progress. PLs have usually made their mark as founders of companies or as originators of new products. Too many PLs in one organization, however, may be counterproductive as they tend to spend their time reinforcing their own ideas and engaging each other in combat.


Produces lots of ideas, provides the vital spark, and sits in a corner thinking things through, capacity for complex & strategic planning, very original & potentially rewarding ideas.



Can ignore the incidentals and can become too preoccupied to communicate effectively. Can be over sensitive and prickly. May need careful handling by Coordinator or Team Worker within the team. Can become isolated and may be difficult to rescue once stereotyped by the team.


Key Words: Independent, unorthodox, imaginative, original, radical, clever, loner, dominant, socially bold, uninhibited, forthright.


Relates well with Coordinator, Team Worker & Monitor-Evaluator.


Powerful Role Combinations: Shaper, Completer-finisher.


Potential Conflict All other roles, except Team-worker



Resource Investigators are often enthusiastic, quick-off-the-mark extroverts. They are good at communicating with people both inside and outside the company. They are natural negotiators and are adept at exploring new opportunities and developing contacts. Although not a great source of original ideas, the RI is effective when it comes to picking up other people's ideas and developing them. As the name suggests, they are skilled at finding out what is available and what can be done. They usually receive a warm reception from others because of their warm, outgoing nature. RIs have relaxed personalities with a strong inquisitive sense and a readiness to see the possibilities in anything new. However, unless they remain stimulated by others, their enthusiasm rapidly fades.


RIs are good at exploring and reporting back on ideas, developments, or resources outside the group.

They are the natural people to set up external contacts and to carry out any subsequent negotiations. They have an ability to think on their feet and to probe others for information.



Brings ideas and information back to the team. Gets around, meets people, poses questions, and finds treasure in unexpected spots. Easily integrated into the team. Has masses of contacts, prevents the team from stagnating, and promotes communication.



Can become overly optimistic; lose enthusiasm once the initial eagerness has passed. Can be lazy and complacent unless working under pressure.


Key Words Communicative, relaxed, sociable, enthusiastic, outgoing, gregarious, versatile and innovative.


Relates well with Most members of the team.


Powerful role combinations. Shaper, Team Worker.


Potential conflict. Completer-finisher, Implementer.



Monitor Evaluators are serious-minded, prudent individuals with a built-in immunity for being overenthusiastic. They are slow in making decisions preferring to think things over. Usually they have a high critical thinking ability. They have a good capacity for shrewd judgments that take all factors into account. A good ME is seldom wrong.



ME's are best suited to analysing problems and evaluating ideas and suggestions. They are very good at weighing up the pros and cons of options. To many outsiders the ME may appear as dry, boring or even over-critical. Some people are surprised that they become managers. Nevertheless, many MEs occupy strategic posts and thrive in high level appointments. In some jobs success or failure hinges on a relatively small number of crunch decisions. This is ideal territory for an ME - for the man who is never wrong is the one who scores in the end.



Ensures the team doesn’t make mistakes. Soundness of judgement, unaffected by emotion, personality, or prejudice. Good at thinking through complex issues and taking all factors into account in giving an opinion.



Can sometimes lack drive and ability to inspire others. Aloof and something of a cold fish. May become isolated if a good relationship with the chair is not established. May appear dry, boring, over-critical and pessimistic.


Key words Prudent, hard-headed, intelligent, dispassionate, analytic, unemotional, hardly ever wrong, serious minded, shrewd, judge of proposals, uncommitted, immune to enthusiasm, rations interventions to a minimum.


Relates well with Plant Powerful role combinations Completer-finisher


Potential Conflict Shaper, Resource-investigator, Plant.



The distinguishing feature of Coordinators is their ability to cause others to work towards shared goals. Mature, trusting and confident, they delegate readily. In interpersonal relations they are quick to spot individual talents and to use them in pursuit of group objectives. While COs are not necessarily the cleverest members of a team, they have a broad and worldly outlook and generally command respect.



COs are well placed when put in charge of a team of people with diverse skills and personal characteristics. They perform better in dealing with colleagues of near or equal rank than in directing junior subordinates. Their motto might well be "consultation with control" and they usually believe in tackling problems calmly. In some situations COs are inclined to clash with Shapers due to their contrasting management styles.



Guides team to achieving its objectives. Ensures the best use is made of each member’s potential. Good at summing up at team discussion. Accepts people as they are without suspicion or jealousy. Never loses grip on a situation. Able to intervene decisively to pull team together in moment of crisis.



Can be seen as manipulative and offload work onto others.


Key words Calm, self-confident, open, good listener, talent spotter, self-disciplined, commands respect, trusting by nature, strong moral commitment, unflappable in face of controversy, naturally enthusiastic, good speaker, thinks positively.


Relates well with All members of the team. Needs to foster relationship with Plant and Monitor-evaluator.


Powerful role combinations Implementer, Team Worker.


Potential conflict Shaper – over leadership of the team.



Shapers are highly motivated people with a lot of nervous energy and a need for achievement. Usually they are aggressive extroverts and possess strong drive. SHs like to challenge others and their concern is to win. They like to lead and to push others into action. If obstacles arise, they find a way round. Headstrong and assertive, they tend to show strong emotional response to any form of disappointment or frustration. SHs are determined and argumentative and may lack interpersonal sensitivity. Theirs is the most competitive role.



SHs generally make good managers because they generate action and thrive under pressure. They are excellent at sparking life into a team and are very useful in groups where political complications are apt to slow things down; SHs are inclined to rise above problems of this kind and forge ahead regardless. They are well suited to making necessary changes and do not mind taking unpopular decisions. As the name implies, they try to impose some shape or pattern on group discussion or activities. They are probably the most effective members of a team in guaranteeing positive action.



The driving force or engine of the team. Ideal project leader. Leads from the front. Galvanises team into action. Makes things happen. Gets the team out of the rut.



Can be prone to provocation and can also offend people's feelings.


Key words Dynamic, impulsive, challenging, looks for a pattern, compulsive drive, nervous energy, strong need for achievement, sociable, opportunistic rather than conscientious, tough minded, emotional, fearless and unflinching in face-to-face contact.


Relates well with Team worker, Resource-Investigator


Powerful role combinations Resource-investigator, Completer-finisher


Potential conflict Plant, Coordinator, Monitor-evaluator.



Implementers have practical common sense and a good deal of self-control and discipline. They favour hard work and tackle problems in a systematic fashion. On a wider front the IMP is typically a person whose loyalty and interest lie with the Company and who is less concerned with the pursuit of self-interest. However, IMPs may lack spontaneity and show signs of rigidity.



IMPs are useful to an organisation because of their reliability and capacity for application. They succeed because they are efficient and because they have a sense of what is feasible and relevant. It is said that many executives only do the jobs they wish to do and neglect those tasks which they find distasteful. By contrast, an IMP will do what needs to be done. Good IMPs often progress to high management positions by virtue of good organisational skills and competency in tackling necessary tasks.



Turns ideas and plans into manageable projects and defined tasks. Systematically sets about the tasks that need doing. Identifies with and works for the team or organization rather than in pursuit of self interest. Never flinches from a task because it’s boring.


Weaknesses Can be inflexible and slow to respond to new possibilities. Can lack imagination. May have difficulty monitoring and inspiring others.


Key words Methodical, practical, hard working, reliable, systematic, tough minded tolerant, self controlled, orthodox, strength of character, organizational flair.


Relates well with Coordinator, Completer-finisher.


Powerful role combinations Implementer, Completer-finisher, Shaper, Monitor-evaluator.


Potential conflict Plant, Team worker, Resource-Investigator



Team Workers are the most supportive members of a team. They are mild, sociable and concerned about others. They have a great capacity for flexibility and adapting to different situations and people. TWs are perceptive and diplomatic. They are good listeners and are generally popular members of a group. They operate with sensitivity at work, but they may be indecisive in crunch situations.



The role of the TW is to prevent interpersonal problems arising within a team and thus allows all team members to contribute effectively. Not liking friction, they will go to great lengths to avoid it. It is not uncommon for TWs to become senior managers especially if line managers are dominated by Shapers. This creates a climate in which the diplomatic and perceptive skills of a TW become real assets, especially under a managerial regime where conflicts are liable to arise or to be artificially suppressed. TW managers are seen as a threat to no one and therefore the most accepted and favoured people to serve under. Team Workers have a lubricating effect on teams. Morale is better and people seem to cooperate better when they are around.



Promotes unity and harmony in the team. Creates and maintains informal network of communication between team members. Boosts team spirit by placing team objectives above personal interest. Good at coping with awkward people. Skilled at averting dispute.



Because they take into account all viewpoints and the full complexity of informal, hidden personal issues they may be indecisive in moments of crisis.


Key words Sympathetic, understanding, sensitive, aware, sociable, low dominance, trusting, strong interest in human interaction and communication, leads from behind.


Relates well with All members of the team, but especially good at managing difficult characters of shaper and plant.


Powerful role combinations Completer-finisher, Implementer.


Potential conflicts Over domineering Coordinator



Completer-Finishers have a great capacity for follow through and attention to detail. They are unlikely to start anything that they cannot finish. They are motivated by internal anxiety, yet outwardly they may appear unruffled. Typically, they are introverted and require little in the way of external stimulus or incentive. CFs can be intolerant of those with a casual disposition. They are not often keen on delegating; preferring to tackle all tasks themselves.



CFs are invaluable where tasks demand close concentration and a high degree of accuracy. They foster a sense of urgency within a team and are good at meeting schedules. In management they excel by the high standards to which they aspire, and by their concern for precision, attention to detail and follow-through.


Strengths Ensures the team meets its obligations and delivers on time. Ensures nothing is overlooked and that the detail is not neglected. Makes sure the team doesn’t waste time.



Can be inclined to worry unduly and are slow to respond to new possibilities. Needs to avoid over perfectionism.


Key words Painstaking, conscientious, follows through, strong attention to detail, relentless, high self-control, appears unflappable but prone to internal anxiety, consistent, capacity for hard and effective work, impatient of slapdash.


Relates well with Plant, monitor-evaluator


Powerful role combinations Shaper, monitor-evaluator.


Potential conflict Implementer, Shaper, Team worker



Specialists are dedicated individuals who pride themselves on acquiring technical skills and specialised knowledge. Their priorities centre on maintaining professional standards and on furthering and defending their own field. While they show great pride in their own subject, they usually lack interest in other people. Eventually, the SP becomes the expert by sheer commitment along a narrow front. There are few people who have either the single-mindedness or the aptitude to become a first-class SP.



SPs have an indispensable part to play in some teams, for they provide the rare skill upon which the firm's service or product is based. As managers, they command support because they know more about their subject than anyone else and can usually be called upon to make decisions based on in-depth experience.


Strengths Able to prove a reasoned technical answer to technical problems if qualified in that field. Logical thinker often has scientific training.


Weaknesses Contributes on a very narrow front and tends to concentrate on technicalities. May seem aloof, theoretical, and impractical. Doesn’t contribute much to the team outside the area of specialism. Acquires knowledge for its own sake.


Key words Calm, logical, detached, uncommunicative, highly competent in his/her field of expertise, interested only in the exercise of that expertise, accurate, conscientious, may be a dogged finisher.


Relates well with Coordinator, Team worker.


Powerful role combinations Shaper, Monitor-evaluator, Implementer.


Potential conflict All other roles except Team worker.

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