Like being in a relationship, work can become a predictable dance of expected reactions to expected events.
Do you find that you can generally count on people to always behave in a certain way?
Do you jump ahead in your mind, and prepare your response or rebuttal before there is an actual need?
Most people hold back from doing or saying what we really feel. We often hesitate to express our true feelings or share our ideas. Why? Because we expect that the person on the receiving end won’t respond in the way that we’re hoping.
Opting to work like this is a bad decision. That’s because passive behavior trips a chain of events that we have no control over. This puts us in the back seat of our own life, career, and future.
Relying on Other People
Think about the last time you were asked to assume responsibility for something. Let’s say it was a project that required the input of other people. You had to rely on them. You were not able to move forward on your part, until they came through with theirs.
What happened when the folks you were counting on didn’t provide what you needed, when you needed it? What did you do?
Someone who spends the majority of their time passively reacting, would probably just throw up their hands, turn around and say, “I can’t do this. I haven’t received what I need to complete the job.”
But if you’re an active personality, you search for a workaround. You find another way to obtain the missing but necessary item. You pick up the phone and put a call through to someone who can help. You accept responsibility yourself.
But you DON’T just give up. When we shrug our shoulders and turn away from issues that need fixing and attending to, we’re really working in passive mode. This is how delays stretch on forever. This passive attitude is infectious, in a bad way. It’s the reason why organizations suffer major setbacks in productivity and lose profit.
Taking the Controls
Passive behavior also sets you up for boredom. If you spend your days reacting and accepting instead of acting and demanding, the quality of your work is unlikely to rise above adequate. And higher-ups will find nothing noteworthy in either your performance or your personality.
Instead of giving others the controls, decide what you want out of your position (besides a paycheck). Then, consciously plan and act to achieve that. You may not get everything you desire, but you’ll certainly get more than you would otherwise.
Going Against the Flow
It’s surprising how many people let habit, expectations and reactions make even the most important life decisions for them. Every day people get married, embark on careers and even start families by simply “going with the flow,” which is just another way of describing passive reaction.
Planning for the future, in both your career and your daily life, isn’t something that should be left up to chance. But too many people simply bounce from one reaction to the next throughout their lives with no real goal or plan in mind.
Make a pact with yourself to begin acting with intention. And then do that.
Thanks to Bootstrapper for including tis post in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship, to E3 Success Blog for featuring this post in the Carnival of Success Principles, to Working at Home on the Internet for inclusion in the Working at Home Blog Carnival, to Tip Diva for including this post in the Carnival of Tips, and to elanso for publishing this post in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship.