Reactive vs. Proactive: How To Effectively Plan Ahead

The first question many people ask when it comes to being reactive vs. proactive is what’s the difference? Simply put, being reactive is when we respond to challenges rather than striving to anticipate future ones; being proactive, on the other hand, is when we choose to act on an issue before it becomes a catastrophe. Read on to learn 5 steps on effectively becoming more proactive and less reactive below.

1. Effectively Plan Ahead

First and foremost, it’s vital for you to recognize that short-term thinking is incompatible with proactive leadership. This is because today’s short-term goals should have been, at one time, yesterday’s long-term goals.

As such, one of the most essential characteristics of proactive leadership is the ability to see the larger picture, which reactive leaders typically lack. Successful leaders also recognize the need for long-term planning and don’t give in to the temptations of quick profits.

Reactive vs. Proactive

2. Have a Calm Demeanor

Proactive leaders don’t shout at others, as they recognize the importance of making rational judgments rather than emotional ones. They like to make objective, calculated decisions utilizing strategic thinking techniques.

Impatient and short-tempered behavior is often expected from a reactive leader who has a bad habit of managing their emotions. Our advice is to avoid following in their footsteps. We recommend being unique and concentrating on inspiring people by remaining calm and collected, which, in turn, will be appreciated by your team.

3. Take Naps

Surprised? We’re not! Sleeping pods and calm, dark areas have been developed by several companies, allowing employees to have a quick snooze, relax, or listen to music using their headphones. Since our bodies offer us clear signals when we need to relax — even if it’s only a lack of concentration — productivity and ingenuity have skyrocketed. We become significantly more productive when we listen to what our bodies need.

4. Determine Your Goals

Learn to determine your unique short- and long-term objectives to truly be a proactive individual. Divide your objectives into areas such as life, career, and relationships. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do I want to achieve in my life, job, or relationship this year?
  • What about the next year?
  • What actionable steps will I need to take to get there within the anticipated timeframe?

People that are proactive succeed because they understand what they want, how to achieve it, and how many steps are required to get there.

5. Be Persistent

Being proactive requires a lot of following up. What do we mean by this? It takes determination to follow up on things that will help you in the long run, particularly if you haven’t received a response.

For instance, if you haven’t heard back after trying to organize a meeting, you haven’t heard back after a face-to-face interview, or you’ve not had an answer to an important email, you must reach out again. Not only will this demonstrate to the other person that the topic at hand is still relevant and essential to you, but it will also encourage them and remind them to get back to you.

Contact BP Dudley & Associates to learn more about reactive vs. proactive: effectively planning ahead today.