Proactivity has become a hugely important concept in the executive world. Today, every employer expects their employees to be proactive in the workplace. In fact, it’s often featured as one of the top marketable qualities executives look for in new hires.
Companies with a high percentage of proactive employees tend to thrive more than those with reactive and passive employees. They’re also more likely to turn over higher revenues and develop faster.
Well, it has a lot to do with how proactivity moves people to perform better and give more. It also rewards them for their effort with feelings of accomplishment and better career prospects.
So, what happens if you take the practice of proactivity outside the workplace? You will likely see huge changes in your social and emotional life.
According to Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest, you will be actively moving toward your full potential in all twelve categories of life.
Let’s find out more on proactivity, how to acquire it, and how it affects circles of concern and influence.
What Is The Definition Of Proactivity?
So, how do you define proactive?
Proactivity can be defined as an action in anticipation of future changes, needs, or problems. It puts you in an active state of mind and sharpens your perception of the world around you. It’s so potent that some actually consider it to be a superpower.
Proactivity will let you anticipate problems before they happen and give you a chance to prevent them. Likewise, it will let you see more chances for growth and advancement, and grant you the ability to pursue them.
Finally, proactivity allows you to take matters into your own hands and shape your own life.
7 Defining traits of proactive individuals
Let’s take a look at the 7 main traits of proactive individuals:
- Disciplined. Proactive people are self-disciplined and don’t need to be closely managed or monitored.
- Organized. Their time is organized toward maximizing their productivity.
- Reliable. Proactive people can be counted on to finish their assigned tasks and deliver what was agreed upon.
- Strategic. They think about the consequences of their choices, words, and actions and act accordingly.
- Go-getters. Proactive people don’t sit around waiting for problems to solve themselves.
- Determined. They are hard to demoralize once they’ve set their goal.
Big picture thinkers. Proactive people can visualize their goals and are ready to forego instant gratification for the bigger cause.
How to become more proactive
Proactivity is not something you’re born with. It’s an acquired skill that everyone can learn.
Here are three ways to become more proactive:
- Set a goal. First, you should set a worthy goal. It doesn’t have to be big, just something that’s important to you.
- Stop procrastinating. To stop procrastinating – visualize the completed goal. You might want to share your goal with a good friend or partner and make yourself accountable. Don’t forget to reward yourself for each completed objective along the way.
- Learn to say no. Having a goal and eliminating procrastination won’t be enough if you don’t stick to your guns.
What Is The Meaning Of Being Proactive?
What does being proactive mean? Well, it’s far more than just taking initiative. It’s a mindset. It is an attitude.
Proactivity means sacrificing meaningless activities and relationships in favor of meaningful ones. Proactivity is an active pursuit to become the best version of yourself and unlocking your full potential in all areas of life.
How do I make my employees proactive?
If you want to encourage proactivity in your employees, you should empower them and gain their trust. When people feel that their voice is valuable and respected, they’re more likely to step up to the plate.
Encourage your employees to share ideas and let them challenge your solutions. You should reward productivity and creative problem-solving.
Finally, you might want to consider giving them a flexible work schedule. The more autonomy your employees have, the more accountable they’ll need to be.
Why should students be proactive rather than reactive?
Proactive students are far more active in class. They ask more questions and get more answers to the topics they’re struggling with. Proactive students will often go the extra mile with their projects and assignments. As a result, they are more likely to perform better in exams.
Circle of Concern
The circle of concern is a concept that was introduced by Stephen R. Covey in his best-selling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
In a nutshell, an individual’s circle of concern is their entire range of concerns. This includes concerns for work, health, family, social interactions, politics, and more.
Your circle of concern is closely connected to your circle of influence, which defines what aspects of your life that you can control. You can easily determine whether a person is reactive or proactive by listening to what they say.
Reactive people tend to use the word “have” a lot more. You will frequently hear them complain and say things like “If only I had… ”, “If my spouse would only…”, “I won’t be happy until I’ve…”
On the other hand, proactive individuals complain less and do more. They know that they have the ability to take charge of their circumstances.
Circle of influence
The circle of influence is smaller than the circle of concern because it’s about what you can influence and control. Often, when these two concepts are illustrated graphically, one’s circle of influence is contained within one’s circle of concern.
Proactive people tend to focus more on their circle of influence and what they can do to improve their lives. You can easily tell them apart from reactive people as they use verbs like “be” and “do” more than “have”. Proactive people are more likely to say “I can do this…”, “I will improve/change that…”, “I can be more…”
The more proactive a person is, the bigger their circle of influence is relative to their circle of concerns. On the other hand, reactive people tend to have relatively small circles of influence coupled with large circles of concern.
Proactivity is the number one habit of successful people in Covey’s book. The goal is to maximize the circle of influence through the development of proactivity.
Proactivity is a fantastic trait to have and is rightfully considered a superpower. You can use it to start developing other productive habits with an eye toward the extraordinary life you’ve always wanted.
Do you consider yourself to be proactive? Share your thoughts below.