One of the things the professional world demands intensely is to learn how to be proactive at work. Our professional environment is, at best, a demanding and even challenging environment regarding our skills and the way we present them. This is what we call attitude and can be considered a virtue if applied properly.
Work, therefore, instills the need to be all-rounders, autonomous, involved, resilient, and, of course, have great initiative. Sometimes it is difficult to meet all of these expectations at the same time: competition is tough and our colleagues also want to stand out, to have the best idea, and to be the first to voice the key to the company’s success.
Faced with such pressure, we all ask ourselves at some point: am I that person, or at least am I similar? Is my attitude at work proactive enough? Am I seen as the typical passive worker who is dragging their feet and does not contribute to what is needed from them?
The demands that, directly or indirectly, fall on us from our work environment can end up putting our psychological well-being at risk if they become excessive or if we don’t have the necessary resources to manage them properly.
Due to this, it is crucial to acquire skills to counteract this pressure and to develop our mentality as workers with undistorted ideas about how we should behave, which attitude will make us stand out in the office and of course, how to be proactive at work. Obviously, it is about delivering the results that are expected from us and excel in our jobs, but without giving up on our first attempt.
In fact, employees in any organization often ask themselves how to be proactive at work as a means to improve their professional image and boost their performance. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to reflect on why exactly we want to improve our proactivity at work and, of course, what we mean by a proactive person. Are you up for it?
Whilst you think about it, we suggest how to be proactive at work in 5 different ways, so you don’t feel pressured but also don’t fall short if there’s more energy you can put into your involvement.
How to be proactive at work
1. Have confidence in your ideas and don’t be afraid to express them
Good photographers take loads of photos, out of which they end up choosing 2 or 3. You don’t have to be brilliant all the time, just keep your creativity flowing. Don’t feel the pressure to come up with the best idea every time you propose something, maybe today’s “useless” idea will lead to the best decision tomorrow.
2. Develop assertive communication skills
Sometimes what throws us off when considering how to improve proactivity at work is not that we lack talent, but that we lack social and communication skills. If this is your case, you need to practice how to suggest, how to listen, how to agree or disagree, how to insist… If you polish these aspects, your attitude will be more proactive and less overwhelming.
3. Observe how others do it
Take advantage of others’ ideas to generate your own and take inspiration from their positive attitudes. When the working environment good is and there is team cohesion, office life is a permanent brainstorming session. We can have a burst of creativity, of course, but in general no one is completely original or creative, we all feed off each other’s creativity and together we become empowered. We have to take advantage of this.
4. Think short, mid, and long term
Don’t think you have to give it your all every day, have a panoramic view, and with different paces of participation, both professionally and in interpersonal relationships. There are times when you have to know how to see the moment to stand out and other occasions require a low profile. The desire to be proactive should not cloud your vision of when some roles contribute better than others to the team’s progress.
5. Don’t act out of control
Proactivity means initiative, not hyperactivity. Don’t run around like a headless chicken, overwhelming, stealing the limelight, or crying out for attention. There’s no rush. Measure your actions and proposals accordingly depending on how relevant they are at any given moment. Respect your thinking pace, which may be slower or more discreet than others.
Ifeel has created an emotional well-being program designed by its team of qualified psychologists with the aim of helping companies place the care of their employees’ emotional well-being at the heart of their company culture. This of course involves building with them accurate expectations about their performance and also about what is the most beneficial attitude they can adopt for the benefit of the company without feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Do you want to try it?
Thanks to this partnership, HR managers can receive data-driven advice and how to take care of their employees by properly measuring expectations and fostering a work environment that values the contributions of different personality types. This way, employees’ mental health is strengthened while preserving good conditions for optimal productivity.
In addition, ifeel‘s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on individual needs. Therefore, employees can access various mental health care tools with ifeel‘s app. On level two, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s licensed psychologists. If additional support is needed, they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs.
You may also be interested in this post about mental well-being at work.