Let Me Help You, Please!

ORGANIZATIONAL AND BUSINESS

Let Me Help You, Please!

When we think about the Socializer Striving Style, with their predominant need to be connected, the Barbra Streisand song "People” (People Who Need People) comes to mind. Socializers are the “Weavers of the Social Fabric” in families, the workplace and in communities. They easily build and maintain positive relationships with a wide variety of people. They aim to be helpful and are enthusiastic, amiable, outgoing “people-people.” Their relationships are at the center of their lives and everything they do ensures their connection to others. They need to be needed and go out of their way to do things for others.

Always Willing to Help

Ever willing to lend a helping hand, their special gifts of caring for and serving others allow them to use their genuine interest in humankind and their exceptional intuitive awareness of people. They make everyone feel comfortable and included. By being helpful to others, Socializers meet their need to be connected. They look for things to do for people in order to establish and affirm their value to others.

The problems Socializers have often arise out of their difficulty or inability to say no when someone is in need. They never want to risk offending or disappointing anyone, as this would break their connection to them. At work, they will put helping others before their own job priorities and fail to deliver on expectations. Putting others first can make them seem disorganized and undependable, which they aren't. However, they can do so much for others that they fail to see the impact it has on them until it is too late. They are busy feeling great about being so helpful and not seeing they are failing at their job. Take Jenna for example.

Jenna has always considered herself the go-to person at work when anyone had a problem.

She chats easily with people and coworkers seek her counsel and support when having difficulties --- either business or personal. She loves gossiping and anytime she sees a few people standing together talking, she inserts herself into the group, updating people about what’s happening and catching up on the latest office drama. While she is not exactly crazy about her job as an office assistant, she wouldn’t consider leaving because she loves the people she works with and believes that everyone needs and depends on her.

Jenna felt very secure in her relationships with everyone at work, including her boss, Dwayne. As a result, it came as a great shock when he called her into his office and told her that he had to let her go. During the past year, Dwayne had given Jenna frequent feedback about how she was missing deadlines, not preparing for meetings, and not attending to detailed aspects of her job. He demonstrated that they were problematic as they affected his performance and his reputation. Now Jenna had failed to finish an important client presentation for Dwayne and failed to tell him it wasn’t done. This had caused Dwayne great embarrassment as well as it having the potential to lose the client. For him, this was the last straw.

Jenna never really thought she needed to change her behavior. She always felt the reasons for her errors or not completing things on time were justified because she had been either helping, counseling or coaching a coworker. She believed this was for the greater good of the company. She thought Dwayne understood, and while he did understand, he did not condone this behavior continuing. He told her that she had to perform her tasks before helping others. Jenna did not take in what he was saying, because for her, meeting her need to be connected by helping others came first. She continued to act as though her primary job was being there for others, putting this before her own work. She didn't think she was putting her job at risk.

No matter what our predominant need is, if we don’t recognize when we are getting it met at the expense of all else, we can suffer the same type of consequences that Jenna did. When a Socializer puts their need to be connected before their job, they can find themselves at odds with the people they work for, making themselves look far less capable than they actually are and ultimately losing opportunities for advancement and even their job!

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D.

Want to know your Striving Style? Take the SSPS Level I Assessment and find out what your predominant need is.

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