Are You Reactive Or Proactive?

28th February 2013

Do you react to the events happening around you or do you take initiative to prepare for, participate in or control the events?

If you are proactive you will be always in control of situations by causing things to happen rather than waiting to respond after things happen. This can be at a work place or anywhere in life.

Let's take a few minutes to understand it.

A reactive approach is characterised by doing whatever it is that you feel like doing at that moment. You focus on whatever that triggers you into taking action like regardless of what you may have planned for the day – the moment that you receive an email asking you to do something it is nearly impossible to put that something off.

But if you are a proactive person, you identify ahead of time the actions or tasks that you are going to take throughout the day. You will still remain flexible for unexpected occurrences – giving thought to possible actions and consciously making a decision as to what actions are going to be taken on that particular day.

How to be Proactive?

1. Predict – Proactive people are rarely caught by surprise. Learn to anticipate problems and events. Understand how things work; look for patterns; recognise the regular routines.

2. Prevent – Proactive people foresee potential obstacles and exert their power to find ways to overcome them before those obstacles turn into concrete roadblocks.

3. Plan for the future – Avoid one-step, “here and now” thinking and instead, look ahead and anticipate long-term consequences. Bring the future into the present; what can you do today to ensure success tomorrow?

4. Participate – You must get involved. You have to take initiative and be a part of the solution.

5. Perform – You must be decisive and willing to do the work NOW. Procrastination is not an option. Take ownership of your performance and hold yourself accountable.

Marcia Paulo

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