Social Nation and Social Quotient

Social Nation

Social Nation

I love books and am a complete sucker for tests that allow me to measure myself and gain insights into how I might be more effective and happier at work. I’ve taken the Strengthsfinder, Myers-Briggs, DISC, and more. I received an advance copy of Barry Libert’s Social Nation: How to Harness the power of Social Media to attract customers, motivate employees, and grow your business. It seems to encapsulate a fair bit of good thinking/common sense on social media. From my perspective, what makes it interesting is its summary combined with “custom” feedback in the form of its online test.

The Book

Libert starts the book by outlining how the spectrum of necessary skills for business is extending beyond the physical and intellectual into the emotional and social. His argument is mastery of the entire spectrum is becoming necessary, and his book is designed as a primer on entry into social community building.

So, after I received my custom evaluation (see below), I went on to review the 7 principles for building my social nation and 10 pitfalls to avoid.

Both of these are summarized and available from the Social Nation Book website resources section, so I won’t reiterate them fully here. I very much appreciated Principle 3: Mind your Online and Offline Manners, which include behavior guides such as “pretend you’re offline” when thinking of what to share. No one wants to hear me droning on and on about my cat in person, so I probably shouldn’t do it on my facebook page or twitter stream. And, I should refrain from saying something curt or even nasty in email or on a message board just the way I would if that person was sitting across from my at a conference room or dinner table. Good rules to follow.

My Social Quotient

According to the social quotient on, my three top strengths are: transparent, adaptor, and collaborative. I mostly agree. The full descriptions of each of these strengths are available at the end of the test and in the meat of the book. They are well named, so I won’t repeat those definitions here.

I tend to think I’m quite transparent, and I feel like my emotional nature plays immediately across my face, but I am also a quiet person, so sometimes people have a hard time getting to know me. And, I can be socially awkward (shy…) and so retreat to silence when I get overwhelmed instead of opening up. I don’t really have many fears about social sharing websites, though that sentiment is not always shared within my household, so I’ve had to become more thoughtful about what I personally share to respect that I’m not a solo actor.

The adaptor description from the test seems to fit with my Arranger Strengthsfinder theme, someone who enjoys being flexible and responsive to dynamic situations. I’m a project manager at work, and enjoy making plans, and then really enjoy changing them to fit new information. And, I see things from multiple angles simultaneously, empathizing with different people and looking for the best win-win-win outcome. I can vacillate when that way is not clear. For a project manager in particular, I have an uncharacteristic easy-going personality and outlook.

And, I completely agree I’m a collaborator. I found being a solo ecology researcher (my PhD training) to be draining and hard. I very much prefer working in a team and taking advantage of diverse skills and perspectives. And, I sometimes make the mistake of discounting my own wisdom or intuition in favor of the perspective of people around me.

Does the fact I liked the online test best mean I prefer the parts that are ABOUT me? ;).