Last week, we looked at how to stay proactive even when busy. Over the next few weeks, we’re levelling up our proactivity by considering it from all angles.

If we’re not careful, proactivity is a double-edged sword that can cause chaos. It’s true that firms with proactive teams perform better, achieve their profit targets and stand out (A. Wihler, G. Blickle, et al., 2014). Yet, the other ‘side’ isn’t spoken about as often.

“You underestimate the power of the dark side.” – Darth Vader

So, what stops proactivity tilting into this dark side of becoming a nuisance within your firm? It’s mostly the level of political skill and consideration that you apply.  

This is most relevant across two key areas:

  1. Your firm: do you work in an environment where proactivity is encouraged, or are you better off picking your battles when it comes to sharing new ideas? Too much of a good thing can sour relationships.
  2. Your colleagues: even if your firm encourages proactivity, your colleagues may not be happy to be peppered with new ideas. Rather than keeping them all to yourself, could you share them when you think people will be most receptive? That might be at the end of a meeting, over lunch or during a regular catch-up call.

So, next time you’re feeling proactive, perhaps take a moment to consider both sides before sharing.

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