Am I Proactive?
We all strive to be proactive, but how do we make it happen? At its core, to be proactive is to intentionally initiate situations that address issues before they arise. The key is intentionality. Sometimes, we can be placed in situations where confronting the problem is necessary to move forward. However, the moments where you are actively aware of long-term threats can decipher who is proactive and who is reactive.
What does it mean to be proactive?
If you could visualize being proactive, here’s what it would it look like: creating a plan of action even if the threat or concern appears insignificant. Removing the “it will never happen to me” mentality will prevent you from wishing you had planned for the worst-case scenario. When you are placing yourself in a position to act proactively, you can create a plan A, B, C, etc. In the case one plan fails, the next plan serves as your source of truth.
Who are proactive people?
Everyone wants to be proactive, here’s what you can do to achieve it. Breaking it down into four main characteristics:
- Growth Mindset - Having a growth mindset is a mentality that does not put limitations on goals, as the individual believes their talents can be developed (2). This contrasts with a fixed mindset, which are those who believe their talents are innate. Now, it may seem like a stretch to compare the growth mindset to being proactive. But, as Pfizer Executive Angela Hwang states, “having a high growth mindset is crucial because it prepares you to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems, like helping humanity protect itself against a pandemic” (3). No one expected the pandemic, which left a level of unpreparedness. Having a growth mindset allows you to tackle the issues that could arise, without waiting for the perfect circumstances.
- Taking the Initiative - to be the first to act or do something (4). Proactive people are ones who drive the solution, even if it feels impossible. By doing so, they avoid potential problems and minimize the impact. Regardless of their position or experience, they find the desire and necessity to act first. If the solution fails, proactive people are open to constructive criticism. With this feedback, they can evolve more quickly.
- Thinking in the Long Term - long-term thinking means you're comfortable envisioning and consciously working towards the future. It can be easy to prioritize the short-term when you are juggling multiple responsibilities. When you shift to your long-term strategy, you allow yourself to plan and set goals (1).
Benefits for the workplace
Being proactive allows you to have firmer control over what comes next. In the workplace, this could mean building upon leadership, problem solving, and awareness skills. Encouraging the proactive perspective will create efficiencies in the workplace, as well as better prepare you for risk.
Register For Our Event
At “The PEST Analysis Approach: Upcoming Risks for 2022”, we will be hosting a panel of industry experts bringing awareness to upcoming organizational risks in 2022. Join us on March 15th at Tinker House Events to explore these topics and more: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/254656724117