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Team Roles and Responsibilities - Introduction

This module overviews the value and purpose of various team roles.

Please note – every member of a Team is considered as team member (including Team-Leader). The
designation has to be assigned as per the roles and responsibilities. Such as,a Team Member, who
manages the team is called “TEAM LEADER”

Main building blocks of a team :

Team Leader – The Boss of the Team

Team Leader - Key Roles

• Focusing team members on the purpose and task of the project; reminding the team of the result
the organization is looking for and how it fits with the organization's vision, mission and goals.
• Organizing the group, securing meeting space, resources and clearing organizational boundaries.
• Working closely with the facilitator to create agendas, planning outcomes and ensuring next steps
are assigned.
• Assisting the facilitator with meetings; encouraging quiet members to speak up, and when
necessary, shutting down those members who tend to dominate.
• Recognizing and celebrating accomplishments.
• Communicating with others in the organization regarding the team's progress

Team Facilitator-Keeps Everybody on Track

Key Roles:
1. Makes things happen with ease...
Facilitators develop and manage the process for the team, helping them to stay on track and proceed
through ground rules

2. Helps the group with the process...

Facilitators help the team through situations similar to that by neutralizing potentially dominating people.
The result is a process reflecting the group's collective brain power, not simply the ideas of two or three
3. Helps the group with the "how" decisions...
Elsewhere in this program are descriptions of several tools and techniques teams can use to help make
decisions. Some of these tools are brainstorming, prioritizing, and parking lots. Facilitators are skilled at
using these tools and helping teams realize their potential.

Note that the facilitator never tells the team what to do.
Rather, he or she reminds the team of its agreed-upon ground rules and prompts them to consider their
options. The facilitator's role is to move the team through the process. Facilitators should avoid making
decisions or offering opinion

Team Recorder - Keeps Notes, Documents Decisions

The team recorder is responsible for writing down the team's key points, ideas and decisions. Sometimes,
recorders work from an easel pad. Recorders can also take notes directly to a pad.

Key features:

Don't editorialize!
Record comments verbatim as much as possible. If the recorder can't write fast enough, ask the facilitator
to slow down or repeat a comment. Recording the team's ideas is very important, so invest the time to do
it right.

Consider two recorders

If ideas are coming fast and furiously, consider using two recorders, each to write down every other

Be prepared & organized

Recorders should review the agenda for action items. Then, he or she can prepare notes and easel pads
prior to the meeting with headers like: "Problems Under Consideration," or "Potential Solutions," or "Next

Team Recorder – Keeps resource utilization up-to-date

A timekeeper's responsibilities are to:

• Monitor how long the team is taking to accomplish its tasks.

• Provide regular updates to the team on how well or poorly they are using their time.
• Collaborate with the team leader, facilitator and others to determine new time schedules if the
agenda has to be adjusted.

Team Members - Everyone Else

Team members don't have specific responsibilities, but their participation is critical to the team's success.
Team members must agree to:

• Be enthusiastic and committed to the team's purpose.

• Be honest and keep any confidential information behind closed doors.
• Share responsibility to rotate through other team roles like facilitator, recorder, and timekeeper.
• Share knowledge and expertise and not withhold information.
• Ask questions, even seemingly "dumb" ones. Often the new perspective of "inexperienced" team
members can provide insight.
• Fulfill duties in between meetings.
• Respect the opinions and positions of others on the team, even if the person has an opposing
view or different opinion

Team Member - Informal Roles!

Teams can have unofficial, informal roles too. Some are helpful and some are not so helpful. The list
below summarizes some common, informal roles in teams.

Helpful Roles
The Expert - A knowledgeable subject matter expert who can clarify technical issues.
The Summarizer - Often, a "big picture" person who helps to sum up items.
The Bridge Builder - Experienced negotiators who can help bring opposing views together.

Not Always Helpful Roles

The Joker - Always telling jokes to the extent that others can't accomplish their goals.
The Blocker - Hates to make decisions, or reach closure; always looking for more information or wants to
"think things over a little bit."
The Busier Than Thou - Always busier, harder working and has more responsibilities than others.
The Disrupter - If they aren't interrupting for some reason, Disrupters like to hold side conversations or
generally disturb the group.
The Loner - Doesn't like to participate, rarely contributes.

How to Handle the Not Always Helpful Roles

• Set clear time limits for making decisions and remind people often of the time - Jokers and
Blockers are less likely to intrude or delay if they are regularly informed of the time and process.
• Clarify expectations - Get team buy-in up front for the work to be done. Agree by consensus that
everyone will accept responsibility for any extra work. If the Busier Than Thou person begins to
complain, remind that person of his or her agreement
• In general - Individuals disrupt meetings for myriad reasons. Skilled facilitators will acknowledge
the fears or anxieties behind the behavior, and then move on.

Remember this...
Team members must commit to the success of the group and promise to participate.