Would you like
to massively improve your recruitment success?
series of articles, Gill Best, Language and Behaviour
Consultant will give you language tools that will enable you
to prepare more effective person specifications, write job
adverts that only attract the right people and improve or
transform your interview technique.
To Do It or To Think About
It –That is The Question
In this article we are going to look
whether someone prefers to jump into action
(proactive) or consider and weigh things
We have all known those people who just
can’t wait to get started on a project, who
prefer to just get on with it and hate
"wasting time talking!" Ring any bells with
anyone? May be it’s you! Or, conversely,
what about those people who like to think
things through first before they take any
action. You know the ones, they believe that
thinking things through thoroughly first is
the way to make sure you do it right first
time but you can see the clock ticking and
you know you are going to run out of time!
May be this is you instead.
If you have been following these articles
you will know that what we are talking about
is: how to predict someone’s behaviour by
decoding their language patterns. Language
patterns are very different from
content – it is not what a person says
that is important but how they say
In this article we are looking with the
amount of action a person is prepared to
take, are they proactive (high action) or
reactive (low action).
A Proactive person will tend to use
language such as "let’s do it", "do it now",
what are you waiting for", short sharp
sentences - noun, active verb, tangible
object. Their body language will be restless
as though they can’t sit still and they will
get impatient with discussions about how to
do things. They are not interested in
thinking about something; they just want to
do it regardless of the consequences. And
herein lies the problem with highly
proactive people, they do not look before
they leap and can end up down a hole. They
are, however, great for getting things done,
so if you need to get a project started get
a proactive person involved, but beware of
Reactive people, on the other hand,
prefer to think things through. These are
the people who are happy to discuss things
from all angles. You will hear them say
things like "we need to think it through",
let’s consider it, weigh things up, analyse.
They tend to use long sentences, often not
finishing a sentence because they are
thinking about what they are talking about.
Reactive people are great at analysing
situations. The problem with Reactive people
is sometimes that is all they want to do –
they don’t want to take action at all.
Academics, the great philosophers, and Walt
Disney are all examples of Reactive types.
Walt Disney new that he had to give his
ideas to someone else to implement or they
would never happen; Mickey Mouse would not
have seen the light of day if Walt had not
understood this about himself!
So when you are recruiting for a position
ask yourself "Do you want someone to
make things happen, think things through or
a bit of both? Well, remember the shorter
the sentences someone speaks and the more
action oriented verbs someone uses the more
Proactive they are likely to be. The longer
the sentences, the more infinitives they use
the more they are likely to prefer to think
things through and be Reactive.
The key to getting high productivity is
truly understanding what sort of person you
need for the job and then then recruiting
for it. Remember here we are talking about
what motivates someone, what gives them the
energy to do the job well. Excellence comes
from picking people who have the natural
talents that match the job! doing
things the right way (procedures) or whether
they look for alternatives, choice different
was of doing things (options).
As always if you would like me to help
you decide the type of person you need to
recruit please give Gill a call on