Being proactive within organizations or in life itself has become an effective people and leaders skill. Taking action, enterprising, decision making are characteristics of proactivity. But I would like to comment on BEING proactive or reactiveas an internal response to the situations of life. The way we react in face of facts and situations. The author Stephen R. Covey. in the book The 7 habits of Highly Effective People approaches this matter as a basic principle for behavior change.
Reactive attitude is reacting to situations with feelings, moods and thoughts. It’s when we react almost unaware of the facts. We get angry in the face of situations that don’t happen according to our planning. We lose our cool according to the climate in the environment. We get frustrated and victimize ourselves towards difficulties, we become unable to make decisions when under pressure. So we lose our ability to analyze the situation and act without thinking. Reactive people feel good when everything around them is in harmony because they are extremely affected by environmental stimuli.
Proactive attitudes happen when we respond to situations based on values and principles. Consciously choose how we want to act. Our behavior is the result of our analysis and capacity of reaction, no longer of our feelings and moods. Facing the difficulties we analyze the best options and we take responsibility for our choices. We try to understand before being understood. Proactive people create the climate necessary to achieve their goals. Come rain or sunshine, they remain firm and aligned with their values. They don’t victimize and don’t complain about the circumstances because they use their resources to create new opportunities.
Reactive attitudes are driven by feelings, circumstances, conditions and surroundings.
Proactive attitudes are guided by values, carefully thought, selected and internalised.
Many times, we are reactive because we don’t have strategies to act otherwise. That’s why, in the next text, I’ll discuss how the process of coaching can help us create strategies and become proactive people.