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Team Role Descriptions Team roles are used to sustain the team processes that support a team’s task. The assignment of specified team roles is a training exercise, allowing time to practice roles that feel less natural and to model those roles that do come naturally. In the ‘real world,’ these roles are rarely formalized on a regular basis. However, they do appear in various forms for all effective teams, and require regular practice. Team Role

Role Description

Initiator

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Guides the team in setting appropriate objectives and goals Leads the team in deciding approach and execution strategies Ensures that all members participate and are treated with respect Ensures that goals take precedence over problems / conflicts Keeps the team on task and on time to meet deadlines

Recorder

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Clarifies ideas to eliminate vagueness and imprecision Summarizes ideas and synthesize team discussion Clearly documents group activities/decisions Assists initiator in ensuring that the meeting remains on task

Timekeeper

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Keeps track of time remaining Assists initiator in ensuring that meeting remains on task Assists initiator in re-aligning agenda and priorities when there is not sufficient time

Energizer / Encourager

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Brings people in who have not contributed to the discussion Suggests ways to increase sharing of ideas, participation of all Maintains a positive attitude and ensures that team members are engaged Uses humour, change of strategy, or surprise to energize team when motivation is low

Advocate

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Advocates for perspectives that are underrepresented or unheard Ensures that multiple possibilities are explored Suggests alternative ideas or opinions (plays ‘the devil’s advocate’) Helps the team evaluate the practicality of plans and expectations

Participant

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Observes team process and assists any role that requires support Assists a member in performing an assigned role, as negotiated Assesses where additional team roles are needed and takes on that role

Process Observer

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Observes and reviews team process Provides feedback on team process issues, including: o Approaches to decision making o Approaches to conflict o Functions of the team roles o Client / patient centeredness

Team Role Descriptions  

This document describes team roles: Initiator, Recorder, Timekeeper, Energizer/Encourager, Advocate, Participant, and Process Observer.

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