TEAM ROLE SPOTLIGHT – Specialist
Dedicated to a specific interest or field, Specialists pride themselves on acquiring knowledge in their particular subject area, and offer rare skills which are often essential to the successful operation of the team.
Specialists love learning for its own sake, and their attention is focused on honing their knowledge and understanding, ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest developments in their field and maintaining high professional standards.
Specialists often enjoy talking about their subject with others, particularly those who share their interests. They are likely to be keen to attend training in their subject area, not just because of a sense of obligation, but out of love for their subject. For some Specialists, work is just like a hobby, because they derive such enjoyment from what they do.
Because of their narrow focus, Specialists may struggle to take a broader view. Colleagues may find that they tend to focus on the technicalities of a new idea, before the wider issues and viability has been addressed.
Whilst Specialists contribute on a narrow front, they should not be permitted to ignore – or downplay the importance of – all factors outside their own area of expertise.
Team Role compatibility
Specialists are likely to work well for a Co-ordinator who can draw out – and show appreciation for – their contributions or for an
How to handle
Demonstrate that you value their contribution as a source of information. Involve them when undertaking research or study.
Neglect or underestimate their area of expertise. Don’t allow them to become too isolated from the team.
Optimum working environment
Specialists may need a quiet work space which allows them to focus on their subject in depth and without distraction. This said, they may benefit from working alongside others who share their interests and expertise.