The term Proactivity is gaining wide popularity among organizations. Whether its IT or marketing or production or any other domain, proactivity applies to all and is often exists in all. Proactivity in simpler terms is a self initiated behavior to bring some change. We can also refer it as change oriented behavior. If we split proactivity into 2 then its is pro + activity. The term “pro” refers to before so when combined to activity its means that we make the things happen instead of waiting for them to occur.
Being proactive takes time as individual needs to develop the foremost quality of taking decision. Individuals needs the power of self analysis to evaluate the circumstances, weigh the alternatives and then choose the best option to make their decision. Additionally they should stand by decisions. There is sense of ownership and responsibility among them. There is no blame game. Adverse Conditions or circumstances doesn’t lower the zeal or enthusiasm of proactive people.
How to be proactive then ? Well starting with some basic habits lays to the foundation of being proactive and practicing them regularly set up the proactivity.
- Understanding environment – Learn to understand the surroundings and message they convey. Surroundings can be anything which is around. May be physical or mental or even emotional. It can be in form of thoughts arising from current situation and understanding those thoughts is first step needed in becoming proactive.
- Visualize the right one – Based on understanding of thoughts, visualize the shortlisted thoughts and then choose the right one. The ability to envision your thoughts holds the real power. Make a conscious effort to visualize who and what from the thoughts i.e. who you are and what you want to achieve from the thought. In simpler words its connecting with your thoughts to analyse the message they hold.
- Put First things on priority – Once we have visualized the thoughts, its about putting them in priority and then executing the most important or top priorities. This habit actually makes us organized in terms of defining the purpose, role, value and priorities. The things which are worth the most, are taken first in execution plan.
- Develop Collaboration – To execute a thought or plan is not just confined to an individual instead its an collaborative activity. There should collaborative effort to mutually benefit all who are involved. With integrity and appropriate maturity we reach agreements or solutions beneficial for all. It might not be the Best one but it will always be the most optimal one.
- Communicate – We have to put forward the priority thoughts among team and organize discussion over them. Its just not about active speaking but active listening too. We have to develop a habit to listen to understand and not just to reply. By doing so we first understand and then make ourselves to be understood.
- Cooperation – Always believing and practicing that its always good to have a team then an individual working on an idea. Team gives you flexibility to explore more, learn more. Team work generate positive energy and bring a positive transformation in the path to achieve the goal.
Once we incorporate above habits, our proactive nature start building up and gradually it start putting its impact on our growth. By being proactive we have eliminated reactive handling of environment surrounding us. However being proactive is an ongoing process and takes time in setting up. The reason behind is that it involves a continuous process thinking, analyzing and choosing the optimal one. In this process there could be incidents involving failures due to wrong judgments but this doesn’t take the learning behind the failure. It sharpen the individuals strength in dealing the situations.
Organizations should be aware of both the advantages and dangers behind proactivity. In most cases proactive behavior of individuals will do more good than harm, but potentials cases where individuals with proactive behavior were made to suffer are also seen. It has been observed that proactive individuals were sidelined during important developments or appraisals. This has further impacted the growth and progress of organizations as those individuals lack the motivation to work for organization. Thus organizations should create a well managed and effective environment to promote proactivity among individuals so that it can yield benefits for both parties.
To conclude on the note that Proactivity is an essential and inevitable human trait, which steers the performance of individuals and make them more focused and oriented towards their goals.