The Selflessness in “Social”

    Party, Party, Party! That might be the “call” when some hear the word “social.” But in our case, “social” means giving to others or society. The mantra for people with this motive or value is closer to “caring,” “sympathetic,” and “selfless.”

    Would you like to find someone who:

    • Will go the extra mile to meet their supervisor’s needs/requests.
    • Truly cares about others and is compassionate when hearing about their needs/situation.
    • Loves to volunteer for worthy causes.
    • Puts others needs first and their needs a distant second, third or even fourth.

    This is one of the six (6) motives we examine in the motives part of our psychological assessments and one of the most important motives/values I recommend looking for in any type of staff whose job it is to be supportive of others. An administrative assistant. A customer service representative.
    A nurse, a teacher, and/or a social worker.


    Most people will look to see if the person can do the task or has the right behavior for the job. Success in accomplishing the task is always important. In some cases though, you need to have the person whose value, motive and personal passion is to give to others. This giving to others will motivate them to put up with a lot of things most people would soon resist.

    • The ideal administrative assistant puts the needs of their supervisor before theirs. For example, some times they need to stay late to deal with issues even after the supervisor has left.
    • The customer service representative may need to deal with numerous complaining clients every day. They can weather this much better than people who value and are motivated by other things, like any of the 5 other major motives/values we help you measure.
    • The nurse, teacher and social worker frequently put other’s needs before their own. Nurses may
      treat seriously ill and contagious patients. Teachers may repeat the same thing over and over again, no matter how inefficient such behavior may seem to be to others. Social workers see all kinds of incredibly depressing things in their daily work, yet come back to do their job day in and day out.

    Other characteristics of the “social” valued person include:

    • Being kind
    • Helping others
    • Especially helping the disadvantaged
    • Self sacrifice
    • Support and financially fund humanitarian efforts
    • Volunteer time, energy, and money to charitable organizations
    • General caring for and feeling of love for people

    This value is many times invaluable and not fully appreciated by many. Search within yourself, especially if you find the above kinds of behaviors, actions and values foolish or a waste of time. Remember, it’s their value. The likelihood of you changing them on this dimension is slim to none. Either value this in them, find a way to benefit from their selflessness value, or restructure the situation so you don’t see it when it occurs. You can always attempt to work in an environment that doesn’t require some selflessness. But in reality, I can’t think of a single situation where a little selflessness wouldn’t come in handy.

    The Abelson Group - Dr. Michael Abelson

    About the author

    Michael Abelson, B.A., M.A., MBA, Ph.D. is an expert on interviewing, hiring, team building, retention, and leadership selection and development.

    With over 40 years of experience consulting, keynote speaking, training and using objective assessment tools, his processes and HR solutions have saved clients time, money, and from making many poor hiring decisions.

    He can be contacted at [email protected] or 979-696-2222.

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