Whether it’s a small group at work or a small group at church, we usually play one of ten common roles. Take this 10 question quiz to find out the role you play in a group.

So what type are you? Leave us a comment!


Cragan and Wright have determined that there are 10 roles that group members frequently play.

  • THE TASK LEADER is the person who recognizes the task that needs to be accomplished and works toward the accomplishment of this task. The task leader is highly esteemed by the group and is motivated by what this person does or says he or she will do to accomplish this task.
  • THE SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEADER knows how to deal with interpersonal problems and understands the importance of balancing effective relationships with task accomplishment.
  • THE TENSION RELEASER uses humor to advance the group’s development or progress toward its task accomplishment. A tension releaser does not necessarily tell jokes, but uses humor, which is appropriate to all members of the group to diffuse tension from unfamiliarity to disagreements among members
  • THE INFORMATION PROVIDER is filled by those who have researched material, which is needed by the group to accomplish this task. This person will not only provide data for the group but also may evaluate other members’ data and contribute new ideas based on information, which he or she may have discovered in the process of researching the issues.
  • THE CENTRAL NEGATIVE role is similar to that of the task leader, except that this person does not have the leadership role of the group and is not satisfied with the direction the task leader has taken to accomplish the goal of the group. In this role, the primary task is to challenge the task leader and the process that is taking place, suggesting alternative methods of accomplishing the goal.
  • THE QUESTIONER asks probing questions of group members without causing a threatening climate to exist in the group process.
  • THE SILENT OBSERVER employs nonverbal communication to deliver information to group members. Listening quietly, the silent observer will in the end be a decisive factor in the groups’ decisions.
  • THE ACTIVE LISTENER helps clarify what has been said by paraphrasing, asking probing questions, and reassuring group members. They help individuals feel that they are accepted as part of the group, and reassure them that what they have said is significant to the group process.
  • THE RECORDER is seen as the most subservient of all the roles members play in groups. In this role the person records what is said and what decisions have been made.
  • THE SELF-CENTERED FOLLOWER While many of the roles described above may be negative in nature, this role is always negative. This person believes that the group exists to meet his or her needs and will always try to influence the group to act in accordance with that belief.
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