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Taking Initiative

INTE 513.02 Module

Questions and Assignment


Throughout the module slides you will notice question
markers like this:
Question 1
Please answer these questions in a separate document as
you go through the content.
Questions 1, 2, and 3 will be marked for completion.
Questions 4, 5 and 6 will be marked as your assignment.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Define Initiative
Question 1

How do you define the personality trait of


initiative? Feel free to look up definitions
online to help you find a definition that you
most agree with.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Why Initiative Matters at Work


One of the best and fastest ways to get
noticed
She doesnt have to be
asked, she just takes
care of things.
Hes the first guy to
offer to clean up the
job site.
I can always count on them
to get things done even
when Im in a meeting.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Why Initiative Matters at Work


Supervisors and managers appreciate those
who take initiative
On your own, you are able to add value to
your work & your team

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Initiative & Culture


You may have been raised in a family or culture that
emphasizes to:
Ask permission prior to acting
Show respect to others by waiting for instruction
Be cautious and avoid risk

Initiative may seem foreign or uncomfortable


You must practice and learn how to take initiative in
a way that you are comfortable

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Stuck On An Escalator
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSUe_m19FY

Although this video seems silly, often people


complain about frustrations at work without
considering that if they think about the problem
differently, they can actually DO something about it.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Initiative Examples
Initiative doesnt always require a big actions
Here are some examples that show variety:
Seek answers to
questions yourself

Ask your supervisor


to be involved with a
specific task/project

Offer to complete a
task before being
asked

Offer to explain the


task to a colleague
who was absent

Dont seek approval


when confident of
the correct action

Seek ways to
improve the project
or team efficiency

Suggest an
improvement to
your supervisor

Clean up the kitchen


area at work

Go above and
beyond do more
than just what asked

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Initiative Examples
Question 2

Consider areas you would like to take more initiative


at work. Brainstorm and include a few (min. of 3)
ideas in your answer.
These should be tailored to you. Your examples should be something that
would be a little bit outside your own personal comfort level. For some, this
may be as simple as taking the initiative to call the supplier directly rather
than asking a colleague about a product. For others, it may be taking the
initiative to lead an entire project.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Barriers to Taking Initiative


Question 3

Consider the examples you gave. What are the


barriers or limitations preventing you from taking
initiative in these areas?

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Barriers to Taking Initiative


The next slide provides some examples of barriers
you may have provided in your previous answer.
Read through each of these carefully and consider
which barriers are most true for you.

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Examples of Barriers to Initiative


Fear
Many types fear of change, of
making mistakes, of failure, of
being mocked, etc

No Clear Goals
You dont know what to do, or
what area you want to take
initiative.

Perfectionism
Thinking either I do it perfect, or
I dont do it at all causes you to
give up before trying.

Laziness

Confidence

Could be due to lack of discipline,


dwindling enthusiasm after initial
rush, or procrastination.

Low self-confidence or shyness


may cause you to feel intimidated
or uncomfortable taking initiative.

Blame

Contentment

You believe you cannot take


initiative due to other factors out
of your control.

You are content and believe


initiative is not important for you
or for career success.

Skepticism
You believe you are not able to
change/improve, and that your
abilities are fixed as they are.

INTE 513.02 Module Taking Initiative

Guilt
You feel guilty taking initiative due
to what you would leave behind.
Or you dont think you deserve it.

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Assignment Question
Question 4

Choose three barriers you encounter most often. You can use
examples from the previous slide, or your own ideas. Describe
each of your barriers and why it is a barrier for you.
Ex. Fear would be insufficient, but you could explain I have a fear of
being noticed by others.
Or another example: I am at a small company and I believe that I
dont have any opportunities to take initiative (blame).

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Assignment Question
Question 5

How can you overcome these barriers to taking initiative?


Research tools or techniques to overcome each of your three
chosen barriers. Describe each of these tools/techniques in a
short paragraph and why this would work for you*. Please
include references (if you used websites, simply the website
links are sufficient).
*Make sure you choose tools that would work for you.
Ex. If you procrastinate one technique to overcome this is to set a daily
schedule. However, you may know this tool is ineffective because you
are detail-oriented and you would spend too much time making and
adjusting the schedule.
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Assignment Question
Question 6

What is a specific action at your workplace that you will do to


take initiative (choose one of the examples you gave in Q2 or
choose a new one)? Based on your answer to Q5, how can
these tools / techniques help to ensure you take this action.

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References Used

http://www.finerminds.com/personal-growth/barriers-to-personal-growth/
http://www.johncarroll.com/the-value-of-taking-initiative/
http://www.mysticmadness.com/top-10-barriers-to-personal-growth-anddevelopment.html
http://www.brighthub.com/office/home/articles/86562.aspx

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