Proactive People’s characteristics

Proactive people are those that predict consequences, risks, and opportunities. In addition, they act to anticipate and change the expected course of events.

That is, they do not settle for waiting for events to occur to act accordingly; they take responsibility for things to happen.

11 traits of people with proactive personalities

Once we know exactly what is meant by “the proactive person,” we will present your main features or characteristics:

1-Look for different alternatives to action

The ability of proactive people to adapt to challenging or stressful events is one of their most impressive characteristics. They don’t waste time believing that there is nothing that can be done to remedy the problem, nor do they believe that there is just one solution. 

As a result, it investigates several possibilities and their benefits and drawbacks, as well as the potential consequences and/or opportunities and risks that each of them includes if used to solve the problem (López, 2010).

2-Accept criticism constructively

Proactive people are always willing to develop their skillset and learn from their mistakes, and they take constructive criticism in order to improve their professional and personal lives.

This means they will never crumble in the face of negative criticism and will be able to learn from it by absorbing it into the information they already have, which will help them achieve their goals while maintaining their self-esteem.

3-Use positive language.

On the other hand, they frequently employ language that seeks possibilities, re-focuses attention, creates opportunities for action, assumes their own preferences and points of view, and is dedicated to the building of reality.

It could be thought of as a language that facilitates personal acts, duties, and obligations. This style of language boosts our expectations of what will occur (Parra, S/F). 

4-Attitude of self-control

They can manage their emotions in stressful situations, allowing them to rapidly come up with a solution to the problem they’ve been faced with. As a result, firms are once again looking for proactive people with a high level of problem-solving skills.

Self-control, on the other hand, can assist you on a personal level, as it can frequently boost our self-esteem in the face of possible criticisms or even failures in any area of our lives.

5-They are dynamic people.

People that are proactive are more likely to try out new habits, experience new situations, and be guided by creativity.

As a result, they are generally successful in dealing with challenges and even anticipate the negative repercussions and hazards that can arise when confronted with new situations. 

On the other side, they are able to see the potential that exists when approaching a project and focusing on innovation and the future.

Furthermore, they are motivated to change reality based on their ideals because they are conscious of their power and, as a result, they take action when provided with possibilities (Li et al., 2014). 

6- Trust in themselves

All the characteristics that we have named above make them enjoy good self-esteem and, therefore, have very high self-confidence.

This will allow them to be dynamic and participate actively in all the activities they carry out, expressing their ideas at all times.

7-Have great problem-solving skills

Not only does the proactive individual address problems, but he or she also looks into new possibilities. The East fosters optimism. It’s easier to appreciate what you do, achieve success, and protect your self-esteem when you’re conscious and realistic. 

As a result, if the individual in question was the leader of a group, he would take responsibility for his management responsibilities by participating and cooperating with his team to find methods to improve.

If we continue to see the proactive person as a leader, this would be characterized by future planning to deal with difficulties more effectively because it would have the advantage of predicting them (Parra, S / F).

8-Think long term.

As previously stated, proactive people are known for paying close attention to the minutiae of their surroundings. If we apply this to their work, they will be able to appreciate the small nuances that might cost someone else a lot of money.

Furthermore, if we follow the project’s example, they have the ability to prepare ahead of time the time available to develop and deliver it.

This is usually a highly significant skill for a leader since it allows them to see the route that their organization is on and the objectives that they want to achieve (Li and others, 2014). 

9-They are perseverant

People who are proactive are also known for their tenacity. They are usually very clear about what they desire in terms of both long-term and short-term goals. 

If you are the leader of a group, not only on an individual level but also on a group level. This trait is linked to the one we discussed previously because persons who think long term set objectives for themselves as well as the actions they will need to complete in order to attain them.

10- Reach Your Goals

Having clear goals both short and long term as we have noted above will allow you to self-adjust your time and effort during the time period you have marked to reach them.

Therefore, sooner or later they reach their goals because they do not give up in their struggle to reach their dreams because they believe in their abilities and enjoy good self-esteem to not fall in the attempt.

11- Are aware of their strengths and weaknesses

Finally, another of the traits or characteristics we present to you from proactive people is that they usually have the ability to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

In many cases, this is often difficult enough for anyone since we all know what we do right or wrong, but we find it difficult to admit the second thing.

This will make you able to know what you can do or what you will need help from the people you have around you.

What behaviors are derived from proactivity?

Once we have presented the personality traits of proactive people, we have also seen fit to tell you how this is extrapolated in the conduct of these people.

These correspond to people who are conscious and masters of their acts, capable in addition to self-managing themselves emotionally in an appropriate way:

  • Discipline. As you may have guessed, proactive people are persistent in their work, thus they have discipline and are not averse to devoting a significant amount of time to a project they are working on if it is required. Many other behaviours that have to do with commitment can be drawn from this one, and they usually become habits (Li and others, 2014).
  • Assertiveness is a quality that many people possess. They are usually the first to share their ideas and actions on a given topic since they have a lot of initiative. As a result, they may encounter people who have oppos ing viewpoints and be forced to defend their position; nonetheless, they will do it assertively and with respect for the other person, rather than attempting to impose their ideas.
  • Persuasion. You can usually persuade others to change their minds or make a decision on a matter by using persuasion. Persons that are proactive are typically seen as people who can influence others since they are true to their ideals and ideas. As a result, the most successful leaders are usually proactive.
  • Initiative. The initiative is a characteristic of proactive people that we’ve already mentioned. In most situations, this phrase is used interchangeably with proactivity in publications that examine this personality trait in the context of businesses.

Proactive people often anticipate events and are always thinking about something that can improve with respect to what they do or what projects they can do (López, 2010).

  • Behaviour that is helpful to others. Proactive people typically aspire to achieve self-actualization and recognise that they may not be able to do it on their own, therefore regardless of the context in which they move, they are always eager to assist the people who accompany them in any way they require.
  • Feeling in command. Finally, a sense of control that these people transmit and have as a result of their high self-esteem and self-confidence is one of the behaviours that they exhibit. These people are aware of their potential and have a strong internal control system that boosts their confidence and allows them to provide feedback.

What is the difference between a proactive and a reactive personality?

We’ve talked about the proactive personality throughout this post, but did you realize there’s also the reactive personality, which is the polar opposite? Unlike the proactive, a reactive person is guided by their feelings and does not usually have control over their thinking.

As a result, they are frequently very reliant on others’ acceptance because they lack their own criteria. They are also terrified of not attaining the intended successor goals, which is the polar opposite of what happens to proactive people.

Furthermore, they are overwhelmed by the conditions they are in, especially if they are out of control or excessively stressed. This causes them to solely think about what they can’t do, making them feel very bad about themselves and seeing the changing environment as a threat.

Finally, we have to highlight that they are people who are often complaining about everything in their day-to-day life because they are never happy with the life they have (Moreau, S / F).


As we’ve seen, proactive people possess a number of characteristics that make them ideal leaders. There are differing viewpoints on whether proactivity is a personality trait or behavior. 

If we think of it as a behavior, we can encourage it in anyone or any firm to better their outcomes. On the other hand, if it is deemed a personality, we will be unable to complete the task.

If you wish to learn more about this subject, I recommend Stephen R. Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

What other traits of the proactive personality are you familiar with?


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