7 Ways to Maximize Social Butterflies
People are frustrating.
Accept people for who they are so you can maximize their gifts and minimize their weaknesses.
5 people who drive leaders nuts:
- Know-it-all owls.
- Get-it-done squirrels.
- Cautious possums.
- Quiet sheep.
- Social butterflies.
Leading social butterflies:
Social butterflies relish relationship but struggle with follow-through.
In the past, I thought it was my job to “fix” social butterflies. I focused on their lack of follow-through and how to improve it.
Tip: If you need something done in the moment, ask a social butterfly. They work to make you happy.
- Struggle with solo projects.
- Chafe at details.
- Make excuses for people who don’t perform.
- Don’t like to push people to do hard things.
- Wait for the perfect moment to ask others to do things.
Social butterflies make important contributions when in the right role.
7 ways to maximize social butterflies:
- Assign them to team projects.
- Enhance their performance with coaching. Ask them,
- “What would you like to accomplish this week?”
- “What do you need to do today to reach your goal?”
- “When I touch base with you, what would you like me to ask about?”
- Role-play their performance. “What will you say at the beginning of the meeting that you’re leading?”
- Listen when they talk about the feelings of others. When socially gifted people wince at something you say or do, explore it. They’re great at connecting and showing compassion.
- Praise every good performance.
- When something doesn’t go well, discuss what to do differently next time. Get specific. “Prepare more,” is not a useful response.
- Seek input from socially gifted people when forming teams and assigning projects. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of people and how they work together.
Bonus: Schedule regular one-on-ones.
What strengths and weaknesses do you see in Social Sally?
What suggestions do you have for maximizing the strengths of Social Sally?
9 quick tips for handling overly social employees (Insperity)
When you don’t want to socialize with co-workers (Inc)
This was good. Would like to hear your thoughts on the other 4 categories of people.
I agree with Scott’s comment. I would value an expansion/explanation on the other four categories.
Dan, I particularly like your 2-C comment.
“When I touch base with you, what would you like me to ask about?”
The social butterfly is another example of a strength becoming a weaknesses. Building relationship is important but so is getting things done.
I had a butterfly on my team. I had to coach him on the importance of completing tasks on time and the negative consequences of missed deadlines.
I asked my butterfly–“What can I do to motivate you to get your done on time?” He told me and I used his comments to keep him focused and energized on the deliverables.
I, too can’t wait to for the other categories. Thanks Dan for the work you put in for guys like us to learn from and to enjoy.
We hired a social butterfly to be a social butterfly. I had the most amazing conversation with his reference. This reference pointedly told me:
1. Clarify the definition of success (next 3, 12 months)
2. Clarify expectations (which is different from job description)
3. Affirm him, affirm him, affirm him
4. Be accessible (so he can verbally process)
5. In conversation clarify thoughts vs decisions
6. Clarify the decisions I would need to be a part of, and which he has the freedom to decide independently
Even with this foreknowledge, it has been challenging. The bottom line is that this new employee has done what we’ve never had the capacity to do.
The reference you spoke to sounds like a gem!
Would love to read your thoughts on introverts in the workforce and, especially, how you see the possibilities for them to highlight their strengths and contribute at each level within an organization.
As always — enjoyed the blog, Dan — as well as Rob’s shared comment. I loved the suggestions of the reference and see how even if not specifically for a Social Butterfly – these are great ways to start off and maintain a growing work relationship. Thank you both. Enjoy the Weekend!
just curious Dan — I’ve Posted a Comment a couple of times in the last few weeks and it doesn’t seem to make it through — which it always has before. Any thoughts to fix that?