Let’s ponder over these scenarios:
- Do you react to the events happening around you or do you take initiative to participate and control the events?
- Do you think in terms of the present or do you look to the future, anticipating outcomes and preparing for the consequences?
- Do you make decisions only when you have to or do you make conscious decisions as part of a long-term plan?
Employees who are proactive are more valuable than those who are reactive. Being proactive means thinking ahead and planning how to deal with problems before they arise whereas, being reactive means responding to problems after they occur.
Proactive people constantly look at the future and move forward. They are actively engaged in whatever they do. But there are times when one has to take up a reactive approach. For example, there are times when we need to be flexible and adapt to a rapidly changing environment, when our long-term plans must be postponed in order to meet our immediate needs. Apart from that, there will always be few unavoidable roadblocks in the journey that even the most proactive person would not have been able to foresee.
But the ability to be proactive provides a clear advantage in the workplace than being reactive and most managers expect their employees to follow a proactive approach in whatever they do.
Let’s look at five key behaviors i.e. The 5 P’s of being proactive:
- Predict:To be proactive, learn to anticipate the events as well as challenges that can occur due to a particular action. Observe patterns; understand how things work in your business. At the same time, don’t allow yourself to become satisfied. Look for improvements, for optimizing processes. Use your imagination when anticipating future outcomes. Don’t rely on past experiences and predict the future. Build different scenarios of how events could unfold, look for logic behind them. Remember, Proactive people are always on their toes.
- Prevent: As a proactive person, it is important to foresee potential obstacles on your way and find ways to overcome them before they turn into roadblocks for you and your team. A proactive person prevents problems that other people think as unavoidable. They are unaware of the feeling of ‘powerlessness’. When challenges come, they take control, confront and resolve them before they grow into overwhelming problems.
- Plan: A proactive person plans for future.For them, “here and now” is the motto of moving ahead. They plan and work on everything that can ensure a safe and successful future. The best part is, these people do not make decisions in a frenzy or vacuum. Their every decision is linkedto a chain of events leading to one final observation and solution.
They believe in long term vision and strive to achieve their goals.To be proactive, be clear of where you came from, where you are, and where you want to end up.
- Participate: Get involved, take initiatives and be a part of the solution. Proactive people cannot be idle observers; they are active participants. Get a mind set of influencing rather than getting influenced by other’s actions. Do not react, simply engage and exert your influence while making a contribution.
- Perform: Be accountable of what you do. Take ownership of your actions. Being proactive means taking effective, timely actions.One must be decisive and willing to do the work NOW. A proactive person takes thoughtful and careful steps to choose the right path. He is aware why he has chosen this path and what will be the actions if there are any roadblocks on the way.
A proactive person stands behind their decision. They don’t just react impulsively to their environment.