Team Roles: How to Play to Everyone’s Strengths

By: Zahra Fatehi, DI Alumna

Destination Imagination is all about being a team. In any dictionary, you’ll find a definition that describes a ‘team’ as a group of people that tends to have interdependent characteristics that allow them to achieve a common goal. The key idea here is that each person’s qualities are equally fundamental to reaching the end result. Because each person is critical to success, it is important that everyone’s skills are utilized. How do we do this? First, list out every team member’s strengths. Don’t be shy! Once you have a list, try and fit each person’s strengths into categories that make a well-rounded team. Here are some examples.

Note-Taker/Organizer: This person may be very precise. He or she can keep a neat notebook, write down all the ideas that the team has for the main Challenge, and can keep time during practices for the Instant Challenge. In addition, this person’s attention to detail caters to his or her ability to keep the team on track and fill out the team paperwork.

Engineering Manager: In addition to an arts component, nearly every Challenge has an engineering component. This person’s logical mind will allow the team to create structurally sound and transportable props. If your team is solving the Technical Challenge, your Engineering Manager should be able to construct the main technical component of your Challenge, such as a robot, vehicle, machine, etc. He or she may also have experience with coding.

Improvisation Leader: Every team needs a person who is able to think on his or her feet. The Improvisation Leader may be quick, witty and able to come up with a line that can make everyone laugh. During the Instant Challenge, he or she can lead the group with a silent command or a specific phrase. This type of team leader role is absolutely essential if your team decides to go forward with the Improvisational Challenge.

Fine Arts Manager: This person is very creative. He or she may be an artist or an imaginative thinker. Your Fine Arts Manager can help your team come up with ideas for scripts and props, exploring ways to make the stage come alive with color and bold acting. This person will also help direct the visuals of the performance and aim to make it as striking and memorable as possible.

Researcher: You can’t write a good script or have a good plotline without diligent research. Your Researcher may be someone who is curious, often asks questions and enjoys learning. He or she will check up on the facts and make sure your script is accurate and flows well. The Researcher can find stories, current events, fairy tales or even hard science to inspire your skit and make it as well-informed as possible.

Although everyone may have their roles within the team, remember that many minds are greater than one. Everyone on your team should be helping a specific team member with their task. Be efficient, but don’t forget that the most important thing is to work together.


About the Author: Zahra Fatehi is a junior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She participated as a Destination Imagination team member for 10 years and now volunteers as a DI Appraiser.