Why people say that it is good to be proactive in your own becoming? What does the term “proactive” signifies? In simple words, the term “proactive” simple words means being active and attentive before taking an action and being reactive on the spot. There is a difference between being proactive and reactive.
Reactive is, “I’ve got massive chest pain and pins and needles down my arm. Maybe I’ll go to the doctor.” Proactive is, “Even though I have no symptoms, I want to live a long, healthy life so I have embraced the life-long habits of healthy eating and regular exercise.”
-Craig Harper (2007)
Let us now look at what and how being proactive means and helps in the workplace. First, to be proactive, it requires five important behaviors abbreviated as the 5 P’s:
1. prediction and prevention from being complacent,
2. prevention from upcoming problems by finding ways to overcome them,
3. planning for the future by avoiding “here and now” decisions and looking ahead,
4. participation by making a contribution and exerting your influence, and
5. Performance with decisive and “to do the work now” willingness.
Second, being proactive means just being what you are. It is all about you and up to you. It is about you succeeding and solving your problems with the realization that you are the sole person to handle it. Third, it is important that your goals are SMART. Now, what SMART goals mean? SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Fourth, I would say is very important for you to be effective, you should possess good problem-solving skills. Wasting time after things out of your control is not good at all. Therefore, to be one, you need to focus on things under your control to end up with final and effective outcome. However, getting success is not everything. Consistency in your steps towards your day-to-day work is countable, fifth. Sixth, it is all about finding the right people. Always choose to stay with driven people to achieve your goals and stay motivated. Seventh, you have to build your own luck to make things happen, as things will not work just because you want them to happen. Last, you need to be humble and honest with your work. Work harder and understand what is not working instead of making excuses. Remember, “Honesty is the best policy”.
“For one to be proactive, all it takes is understanding and working positively towards one’s own responsibilities. To be solution-focused is being proactive. Being organized is proactive. Connecting with people to develop network and build communication is being proactive. Accomplishing what you want with set deadlines is being proactive. Success is success – big or small – celebrating it is being proactive.”
Being proactive does not mean to be not reactive. Rather, sometimes being reactive is necessary because many decisions are required to be made on the spot. This adds on to your flexibility and adaptation to the changes in the work environment rapidly. Proactive does not mean to be the first but requires providing value and leadership.