Managing the social butterfly

When you think of troublesome types, the social butterflies in your office might not come to mind. After all, their friendly, bubbly natures liven up the workplace. Still, they can cause some problems, including:

  • They are distracting. Their friendly chats pull people away from their work.
  • They slow progress. Their chatter can lead to missed deadlines and unfinished work.
  • They can be gossipy. Many social butterflies know all the dirt and share it with anyone willing to listen. 

Rather than trying to change the social butterflies, use their positive traits to create a more positive work environment: Follow these tips:

  • Make them the welcoming committee. Have them show around new hires or greet clients.
  • Assign them to social committees. Put them in charge of planning office parties and celebrations.
  • Recruit them to be change advocates. Their popularity and positive attitude can go a long way in gaining buy-in from other employees. When you announce changes, involve them in sharing the news.

— Adapted from “How to Deal with a Social Butterfly at Work,” by Molly Thompson,