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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:

  1. Know-it-all owls.
  2. Get-it-done squirrels.
  3. Cautious possums.
  4. Quiet sheep.
  5. 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.

Social butterflies:

  1. Struggle with solo projects.
  2. Chafe at details.
  3. Make excuses for people who don’t perform.
  4. Don’t like to push people to do hard things.
  5. 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:

  1. Assign them to team projects.
  2. Enhance their performance with coaching. Ask them,
    1. “What would you like to accomplish this week?”
    2. “What do you need to do today to reach your goal?”
    3. “When I touch base with you, what would you like me to ask about?”
  3. Role-play their performance. “What will you say at the beginning of the meeting that you’re leading?”
  4. 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.
  5. Praise every good performance.
  6. When something doesn’t go well, discuss what to do differently next time. Get specific. “Prepare more,” is not a useful response.
  7. 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?

Bonus material:

9 quick tips for handling overly social employees (Insperity)

When you don’t want to socialize with co-workers (Inc)

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