What does this mean, being proactive? Can you define it? Can you describe it, specifically? This aspect of being proactive is one we hear from managers all the time. When we press them for a definition they struggle a bit and here in lies the opportunity! There is no doubt people who are proactive will typically be better with time management, project completion, client engagement, etc.
This begs the question how do we coach employees to be more proactive? Let's break this down into three parameters we can use when coaching employees:
Questions- ask questions that are germane to being proactive by using the word proactive. For example," Bob how will you proactively get back to the customer?" This question seems so basic but it provides a manager a deep understanding of Bob's interpretation and willingness to be proactive.
Activity - during your coaching sessions facilitate activities around being proactive. For example, ask your employee to list out 5 to 6 ways on a whiteboard a customer would love more proactive reaction from them. Then ask them to write down the activities they need to perform or practice to meet that list of requirements.
Learning Projects - at the end of each coaching session ask your employees to complete a learning project. The learning project is done when they are actually working on real-world work. The learning project is also to tied to the performance area such as being proactive. One way of doing this is to ask your employ "how will you proactively get back to" and then fill in the blank. The key is to use the word proactively and tie it to a performance area or situation where they need to be proactive. This breeds accountability and responsibility as it relates to the concept of being proactive.
Being proactive is somewhat of a nebulous concept unless we specifically define it. The major suggestion is define your level of being proactive and then list out all the skills and behaviors that will represent that definition. Then you have an unbelievable opportunity to coach staff to being consistently proactive.
Measure Your Employee's Level of Pro-activeness?: click here