There are numerous ways you can tell the difference between being proactive vs reactive

Situation One

You are hanging out with a really good friend having a great time. Not even 10 minutes later you overhear that same friend with another group of people bad mouthing you. This friend has no knowledge of you hearing them talk negative about you behind your back.

Reactive Possibilities

  • Tell them off and/or hit them
  • Go into depression
  • Give them the silent treatment for months
  • Spread horrible rumors about them

Proactive Possibilities

  • Forgive them and move on
  • Confront them and calmly tell them how you feel
  • Give them a second chance, no one is perfect

Situation Two

You have been a dedicated and determined employee for over a year.  You pride yourself with how reliable and dependable you have been.  Couple months ago a new employee was hired.  That new employee was just received the promotion you were working so hard for.

Reactive Possibilities

  • Spend a considerable amount of time complaining to everyone and their mom about it
  • Find the new employees every weakness and talk about it behind their back
  • Become convinced your boss is out to get you
  • Start slacking off at work

Proactive Possibilities

  • Talk with your boss calmly about why they got the promotion, or shift, and you didn’t
  • Continue to work hard
  • Learn how to improve your performance
  • Start looking for a new job

You don’t have to respond the way everyone else does or the way people think you should.”  – Sean Covey

When something like one of these situations happens to you:

  • Stay calm
  • Breathe deeply (quietly of course)
  • Think before you talk
  • Think before you act

This will take practice.

After every situation, try to remember to think about how you reacted and the outcome that it brought.

What could you have done differently to have brought about a more desirable outcome?


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