Team Role FAQs: One Role Or Many?
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Team Role FAQs: One Role Or Many?

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Should I focus on using one team role, or try to undertake lots of different roles?

It depends on the circumstances, though it is very rare that you can be successful just using one team role.

Our research into careers has shown a large variety in the spread of roles that are required in different occupations.  In Marketing, for example, extensive use is made of all the team roles, that is: a lot of role flexibility is required.  Marketing involves a wide range of activities, all of which are important parts of the marketing process: gathering data, exploring ideas, building relationships, analysing trends, predicting the future, etc..

In research, however, extensive use is made of just three roles.  Extensive use is made of Curator and Scientist - this isn’t unexpected, as they involved the gathering and analysis of data.  But those taking part in our study also reported that they needed to use the Coach role a lot, ie: developing relationships, collaborating and networking.  There is perhaps not such a great need for activities such as introducing and managing systems and process, or speculation about what isn’t known.  This doesn’t meant that those working in research don’t use the other team roles - they may be required to identify and implement solutions, and there may be the exceptions that make primary use of those other roles.  But the research suggests that these three - Curator, Scientist and Coach - are the ones that need the greatest emphasis for success. 

This suggests, therefore, that the demands of the situation vary.  You often need to use several roles and some circumstances may require the flexible use of all the roles in order to adapt appropriately and achieve optimum team performance. 

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