Can you teach others to take initiative?

Did you think taking initiative is simple as 123? Think again! It is a work in progress to teach others to take initiative, if they were not born with “that gene.” Yet do not fret there are ways you can teach it to others!

take initiative

What does taking initiative even mean? To take initiative is usually to start something such asĀ  a plan or action. If someone takes initiative it means they are usually the first ones doing that specific task. Sounds fun? It certainly isn’t for some people! Taking initiative might be difficult for many.

What are the obstacles to taking the initiative?

  • lack of self confidence
  • lack of know how

Most of the time a person is afraid of failure and ridicule resulting from lack of self confidence that does not allow them to be the start of a project, goalĀ  or idea. We need to change this mindset to get others to take initiative.

Many people have great ideas yet they are afraid to share them so how can we get it heard? Of course, building self confidence will help but so will showing others how to take the initiative to get something started.

Showing children and adults how to step it up is easier said than done, though it certainly can make things much easier for you as a mom, teacher, educator or supervisor.

How can you get others to take initiative?

  1. Give others the tools. Break down tasks for them on a simple level.

    Child: ” There are no tissues in the bathroom”
    Mom: ” Do you know where we keep them?”
    Child: “Yes”
    Mom: “Can you reach them?”
    Child: “Yes”
    Mom: ” Can you please go get some and place them in the bathroom?”
    Child: “OK”
    Mom: “Thank you for your help, now next time you need some tissues you know where to find them.

    See how the task was broken up by making sure child knows what it is needed, knows where to find it, has the tools for retrieving it ( can reach it) and a push for the next time ( compliment).

  2. Model it– If you want others to learn, do it yourself the first time. It may sound weird yet it works! Talk out loud as you go about a task. ” Oh I see that next week there is a deadline, in order for us to meet it we must accomplish abcd….” or” I see the bathroom is lacking tissues that means I must go get some…”
  3. Take a step back– acknowledge the issue and let others step up. ” I see we need some tissues…”
  4. Compliment and Comment– If someone starts to take the initiative, compliment them for it fuels them to continue and wanting to do it more often. Do not say how it can be done better, believe me they will learn.

” Take the initiative by allowing others to take initiative”