Proactivity  is a word that is widely spoken in the corporate environment. At the time of the selection process, it is one of the five skills that six out of ten employers look for in professionals. And many, both companies and professionals, confuse “proactivity” and “productivity”. Others feel that it is necessary to have the gift of being proactive. But in fact, proactivity is a skill that can be developed and improved. We will learn more about this throughout this article.

What is proactivity?

A good professional in the market today must be proactive. But being proactive also has many benefits for personal life. Since proactivity is taking responsibility for decisions made, anticipating situations and making an effort to achieve a result and make something happen. There are a series of characteristics and behaviors that characterize proactivity in individuals.

How to identify proactivity?

People who have initiative are not necessarily proactive. Having energy, a natural disposition and being the first to propose or achieve something is not enough. To be proactive as well as initiative, you must be able to innovate and surprise with your performance. It is also important to know how to deal with problems or even avoid them. Not only that: give ideas, suggestions, present alternatives, broaden horizons and promote changes. And in meetings and, in other situations in the daily life of the company, show participation.

Proactivity x Productivity

But, as I said before, in some scenarios it is still not clear what proactivity is. There is an illusion that someone who is proactive is someone who performs and divides attention into many tasks at the same time and meets deadlines. In addition to worrying about solving only the urgent. This is nothing more than multitasking. Therefore, the focus ends up being completing the tasks, preferably without the boss telling you. And bringing results is not always what will happen.

No matter how organized the professional is in his daily activities, the market requires the ability to look ahead. Know how to plan, take risks, and control according to your decisions to achieve your goals. Make things happen by looking for information and opportunities to do so. This is what differentiates proactivity from productivity. Proactive workers are also dedicated to peak tasks, doing one at a time, to make sure they are well executed.

Why is proactivity important?

Employees seeking professional growth are more likely to succeed. But those who are looking for personal growth and, why not, academics too, are even more successful. These will not be stagnant.

The labor market requires constant updates and search for information, regardless of the professional’s area of ​​specialization. In addition to technical knowledge, it is interesting to know a sphere outside your area of ​​expertise, to add value and be more complete. And as a final result, they stand out relative to other coworkers.

An organization with proactive employees, always aware of trends and keeping pace with the market will not have an outdated climate. And not only the attitudes of the employees contribute to the good development of the company. Leaders who inspire, motivate, and engage their employees can help improve their proactivity in different ways.

Proactivity in different profiles.

It is important to respect the individuality of each one, looking for which professionals have the easiest and propensity to develop. There are those who tend to lead and be proactive in managing the team, those who respond only to what is convenient for them and do the basics of their functions and also those who fall short in some way. Nobody is perfect. And in the work environment there is an interpersonal exchange between the teams and everyone can collaborate in some way according to their profiles. Knowing that it is not impossible to change something that bothers or is necessary.

Proactive, reactive and active.

The proactive ones, who have already mentioned their characteristics in this article, are not satisfied and are looking for new solutions and challenges. With this, they can increase their productivity more effectively.

There are those who hope that there will be a change in the scenario in which they insert themselves or in the scenario around them to position themselves and act. It is as if they were inertia and their roles are only going to react to that circumstance. We call these professionals reactive. Their behavior is most feared by managers and human resources.

But there are also the assets. They can take the initiative and not wait for others and know how to act in a situation. In a way, such a professional can perform reasonably well in his work routine, even if it is not ideal. However, if you want to evolve, it will be easier for you to achieve proactivity.

Imagine a group where most of them are reactive. Teamwork will be very difficult, the productivity of the group will not be the best, the results will not be achieved as they should, in addition to causing a stressful situation among the members who will certainly not be aligned.

For there to be a balance and understanding between coworkers and the company, it is also necessary to be reactive. Having a reactivity percentage, as long as it is not 100% can be useful. There are situations in which you just have to follow the rules and comply with the rules and for that, be reactive. But in a team, balancing components with proactive and active profiles is a good option.

How to develop profiles to improve proactivity

Proactivity is not a gift or talent. Some people find it easier to be proactive and it comes naturally. It depends on each person’s personality and experience and how they will behave in the workplace. These are entirely possible skills to be developed by professionals who really seek this.


It is not always up to the company to take the first step. The employee himself, when making the decision to want to develop his proactivity, can take the initiative in this process. No one better than him to identify in his personality his peculiarities, differentials, what can be improved and what can be improved. A good exercise is to do a SWOT analysis. Nothing better than this traditional method to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Another practice that is very good to become a habit is to leave the comfort zone and go in search of new experiences. This helps to better understand how we behave in unknown situations. Trying to get involved in some activity within the company is one way to encourage him to learn something new. And new experiences are valid not only within the corporate sphere. Find a new hobby, visit different places, and explore a new cultural universe.

So personal commitment comes into play. It is up to the individual to strive to adopt new attitudes in familiar situations, to start projecting himself in settings with another posture. With this attitude, after a period, the new posture will be something natural and part of the personality.

Influence of others

A leader, coworker or someone from the company can be an inspiring and motivating person to achieve proactivity. The coexistence and exchange of experiences with these people will contribute to the development of skills of the employee who seeks personal and professional improvement. The interesting thing is that the person who will be the employee’s mirror can still help by observing progress and pointing out more control to them.


It may not seem like it, but planning is a powerful tool for developing proactivity. Organizing tasks, objectives, and goals on paper, in a spreadsheet, or even in an application is essential. In this way, you will not only be productive, because you will be able to dedicate yourself and concentrate on the tasks, as well as prioritizing what is most immediate. Remember the difference I explained earlier regarding doing homework to be productive and proactive.

Rather than using planning to follow an order of what will be done, it is essential to measure the time it takes to complete each item on the list. In this way, you can easily organize and optimize your time. In addition to knowing the activities, objectives, goals and time for each one, predicting problems and thinking about the solution will be a reality, which will also help optimize time.

Training and development in people management.

First of all, it is most appropriate to perform a mapping and analysis of employee behavior. This makes it easy to identify what needs to be developed or improved. Based on this, people management is more assertive in planning team training. In this way, what is needed is developed specifically for each person.

Applying the  training  can be done by the human resources department or the person responsible for managing people in person or even online. The online training format is widely used by companies through distance learning platforms and has advantages over the face-to-face modality.

Training through an online course develops autonomy, organization, focus, discipline, and ease of problem solving. To carry out the tasks and deliver the activities, initiative, planning, responsibility and meeting deadlines will be necessary. These developed skills will be very useful in today’s corporate environment and in the job market for future opportunities.