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  1. #1
    The Devil of TypoC EJCC's Avatar
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    Default Being proactive at work

    At my last performance review at work, I was told that my main flaw is being more reactive than proactive. I've been working on it, but it's still a major weakness of mine.

    Anyone have tips for how to be better about this? It comes naturally to some people, but short of scheduling absolutely everything many months/years in advance, I'm not sure how to systematize it in my daily worklife.

    Thanks in advance!
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    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    That's like asking me for a suggestion on how to change your eye color. You can pop in colored contact lenses to alter what others may see, but the truth will still remain. Only you can solve the problem.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
    The Devil of TypoC EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    That's like asking me for a suggestion on how to change your eye color. You can pop in colored contact lenses to alter what others may see, but the truth will still remain. Only you can solve the problem.

    Good luck.
    Thanks -- and totally understandable. This is why people who aren't naturals at something are often the best teachers. They can explain it better to people who struggle.

    This is also a big part of why I tend not to participate in threads asking how you can get more organized, more focused, more on top of things. It's like a fish teaching a bird how to swim.
    ”We know a little about a lot of things; just enough to make us dangerous.”

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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    At my last performance review at work, I was told that my main flaw is being more reactive than proactive. I've been working on it, but it's still a major weakness of mine.

    Anyone have tips for how to be better about this? It comes naturally to some people, but short of scheduling absolutely everything many months/years in advance, I'm not sure how to systematize it in my daily worklife.

    Thanks in advance!
    The first thing I would do is go back to the supervisor/manager who gave you your review and ask them what they would suggest. You can't give people a task without giving them the tools to do it and that's part of being an effective manager of people. If they are unable to do that, see if there is someone who can - a co-worker or another supervisor/manager.
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    Default The Police Limit by Garey McKee

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  6. #6
    cute lil war dog Bush's Avatar
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    Standard 'there's no one-size-fits-all' caveat applies.

    Along the lines of what @ceecee said -- generally, the straight-and-narrow is the best approach. It's the most effective, efficient, and trustworthy. Feedback from the supervisor and advice from (and/or observations of) coworkers is a great place to start. You're gathering data points, and data is good. Supervisors often genuinely want to work with you. Unless you have good reason not to, you can trust that they do.

    (Sometimes, they don't want their carrots touching their peas and pork chops. By nature, they withhold information that is "meant only for them." If a supervisor wants you to be proactive and don't clue you in as to where you can be proactive, then they are terrible at their job.)

    But.. yeah. Trust that they're not terrible.

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  7. #7
    Liberator Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    At my last performance review at work, I was told that my main flaw is being more reactive than proactive. I've been working on it, but it's still a major weakness of mine.

    Anyone have tips for how to be better about this? It comes naturally to some people, but short of scheduling absolutely everything many months/years in advance, I'm not sure how to systematize it in my daily worklife.

    Thanks in advance!
    Well, first of all "proactive" isn't a real word. It's a made-up bit of business jargon. What you need to be, according to this manager, is more active, which is the real opposite of reactive. (Sorry - jargon like this is a pet peeve, so needed to indulge the soapbox, however briefly).

    Sure, you can ask the manager who made the comment. That shows you are taking the feedback seriously and trying to improve. Waiting for someone to spell it out for you, though, is sort of reactive. We all know what reactive means, and therefore what its opposite must be. You don't wait for things to happen and then react/respond, you anticipate them and take action in advance.

    How to do this? Take the long view; try to see the big picture. Consider anything that has happened around the office during your time there. It could be something regular and predictable, like a monthly report or an annual conference. Or something occasional, like the need to write a grant every so often. Or something unanticipated, like needing to cover for the bookkeeper who had to be out for 8 weeks having surgery.

    How would you deal with these situations? What could be done ahead of time to make them easier? Is there a way to streamline writing those reports, or to start the grant-writing process earlier so there's no last-minute rush, or to cross-train office staff so there is always a backup should someone unexpectedly be out? Perhaps your office already does these things. If so, it is because others before you have anticipated and taken action. See what else you can come up with by looking at processes and activities, large and small, and asking: what would happen if . . . ?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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    Lord Grumpus Tellenbach's Avatar
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    If there is a database or an electronic record somewhere, you might want to look at employee output and see if there are any strange trends about. Analyze the data that's on record (look at multi-year trends) and look for sudden shifts in averages especially after implementation of a new policy, software, new employee, etc. See, if there is a problem....you'll see evidence of it many months before it becomes a big problem if you pay attention to the details.

    Of course, ask your co-workers and staff if they notice anything wrong and hold regular staff meetings where they can offer input into how to improve the situation.
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    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    At my last performance review at work, I was told that my main flaw is being more reactive than proactive. I've been working on it, but it's still a major weakness of mine.

    Anyone have tips for how to be better about this? It comes naturally to some people, but short of scheduling absolutely everything many months/years in advance, I'm not sure how to systematize it in my daily worklife.

    Thanks in advance!
    This will maybe sound awful from what I know about you but I will say it anyway. I think that people at work told you to develop some Ni.


    My advice would be that you try to do mental exercises if this bothers you that much.
    Take one situation and then think about what is most likely to occur from that situation and what will happen then, and then what will happen next. Then try to add some element that will almost surely happen. Something like company wide revision that happens every 4 years. After that you can try to develop alternatives for each stage of the process and once you do that you can try to figure out how likely is that any of the suggested results will happen. Once you are done with that you are free to reject scenarios that you consider to be highly unlikely, after that you have to try making real life decission bases on the model of the future you have constructed in your head.


    Also what you can do is playing with perspectives. If there is something that everybody considers good try to use your imagination to find a perspective that would make this event or object bad. The obvious example would be " It is so good that we all became very dependant on it, what is bad since all of our eggs are in one basket"



    At first it would be wise that you practice on stuff unrelated to your job but once you feel comfortable enought in this approach to life you can start to use these skills in professional environment.
    Great thing about Ni is that it allows offensive play instead of mostly defensive play since it allows that you prepare for the future. Or perhaps even the chance to invent the future if you have good enough vision and strong social influence.


    My 2 cents.

  10. #10
    Liberator Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    This will maybe sound awful from what I know about you but I will say it anyway. I think that people at work told you to develop some Ni.
    This was a significant part of my advice, though I did not label it as such. It might help, though, to think of it instead as anticipatory troubleshooting rather than trying to predict the future, as Ni is so often billed, rightly or wrongly. Use your organizational and detail skills to examine office processes, identify how they might fail, or how they might be made more effective/efficient, and see what ideas you can come up with. Ni-dom/aux don't have a monopoly on this kind of activity, and your suggetions might be more readily applicable, as well as more palatable to your office.
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