Action Orientation – Characteristics of People Who are Action Oriented

Action orientation is a skill not held by all. It means willing to take practical action to deal with a problem or situation. There are times when words are not sufficient enough to complete a work in hand. Words build planning. Planning on doing something, taking big steps to complete the task takes a lot of time. In some cases, you may not have enough time to make plans. At those times, you should keep aside your planning, and start acting out.

Express yourself through actions, and not by just words. For instance, you want to bring changes in your community. For this you take the help of social media. You ask your neighbors to sign up, or to agree to your plans. After that everyone gets busy with their hectic schedule, including you, and the page remains as it is, with few advices here and there and no action taking place, and therefore, no changes.

Less Action Orientation

Some of the characteristics of people who are less action oriented are mentioned below –

  • Lack Of Motivation – Once you lose your motivation in doing a certain task, you won’t feel the urge to convert it into action. It happens to people who get easily over-excited about one thing and go for a lengthy plan. By the time the plan is completed, they lose every motivation to carry out the plan because they are distressed doing too much planning. They may get bored with the work or burned out.
  • Lack Of Self – Confidence – In order to be action-oriented, you need self-confidence. You have to believe in yourself. If an ordinary person can climb up the ladder to success, then each one of us can, too. In order to gain success you must be actively involved and must be willing to take the risk.
  • Being a Perfectionist – There is no harm in being a maniac for righteousness, but laying too much stress on perfection can lead to waste opportunities in life. Fast feedback curves from your mistakes are more realistic than aiming for perfect performance in one action. People learn from mistakes. If you can learn from the bad times of your life, you’ll be ready to find success in your life.
  • Confused about their goal – Getting distracted is fairly easy. At one point in time things don’t work out for you, even though you put your hundred percent on it. Sometime later in life you will realize that your goal is something else. Ever since then, you get stuck to it, work hard and then you never look back.
  • Getting used to procrastination – Many of us have the habit of leaving the work for the last moment, thinking that it won’t take much time, but in reality, you are upset because you have so much to do in so little time. The end result being not satisfactory at all. There is no procrastination in action-oriented tasks. There is no need to pressurize yourself when you have enough time.
  • Analysis paralysis – You want to do something, but there is a lot of confusion in your mind about what to do first and what is the correct way or what if it doesn’t work. How to deal with the consequences? The best way to over come analysis paralysis is to differentiate between a bigger problem and a smaller one. Prioritize your problems, and act accordingly. Planning is very important if you want to carry out your action, but too much of planning will kill your choice for action. There should be a proper balance between planning and action. It is because what we think and plan, it sets a motion, and it only becomes an action once we put it into practice. Many of us are slow to act on an opportunity.

People who are more action oriented enjoy working hard. They are not fearful of acting with a minimum of planning. They are likely to seize more opportunities than others. They get things done, be it on their own or through others. While there are some people who are more action oriented, there are others who are extremely action oriented.

They overuse their skills and they –

  • May be a workaholic.
  • May push solutions before adequate analysis.
  • May be non-strategic.
  • May over supervise to get things done too quickly.
  • May have personal and family problems due to indifference and ignorance.
  • May not attend to important duties and tasks.
  • May ignore personal life and collapse.


The need for speed and agility in the marketplace means that those individuals and organizations who hesitate will be overtaken by those who don’t. Most successful managers consider action orientation as one of their strengths. The hesitation mainly comes from perfectionism, procrastination or risk avoidance. All these cause people to delay taking quick and timely action.

Some remedies are given below –

  • Planning Before Acting Out – Naturally, there can be no action-orientation if you don’t know what to do. For this, planning is important. Time management is valuable too. Therefore, set a limited time-line for planning. List down the important things you want to remind yourself before action, so that at least you know where you are going. Don’t over plan or over think. It should be more of a creative thinking.
  • Failure Shouldn’t Dishearten You – Failure is part of life. If you don’t face downfall, you can never achieve. You may break down many times when failure runs over you, but never give up on yourself. Learn from the mistakes and try not to repeat them again. Instead of stopping yourself from doing a task, encourage yourself to do it. If you fail, you will be more careful next time, and will continue to do so till you are succeed.
  • Discipline Yourself – A person who leads an organized life is more action-oriented than those who are neglectful. Being lethargic is not good. You are not only wasting precious time, but also wasting opportunities that may come your way on maintaining discipline. Set tasks for yourself and complete them accordingly. Organize your works.
  • Reward Yourself – If you successfully complete an assigned task on time, reward yourself. Give yourself a treat or go for shopping, encourage yourself that if you cut down on delaying things and work harder, you will be rewarded. But, if you complete a task at the last minute, refrain from celebrating. This will encourage you to be more action-oriented.
  • Being Curious and Impatient – If you want to be action-oriented, you have to be the inquisitive. Being impatient sometimes is just fine. If you are curious to know the results, they will lead you to be more active. For this, you need to sharpen your curiosity and need.
  • Picture Yourself To Be The Person You Want To Be – Start from the beginning. When you set your goal, picture yourself there. If you want to start a business, visualize yourself as the chief, and slowly work it up there. If you want to be a successful, start from scratch, aiming for the ultimate reward that awaits you. Seeing yourself to be the person you want to be will prepares the way for you to be an action-oriented individual.
  • Build Up Your Confidence – Maybe you’re slow to act because you don’t think you’re up to the task. If you boldly act, others will shoot you down and find you out. Take a course or work with a tutor to raise your confidence in one skill or area at a time. Focus on the strengths you do have; think of ways you can use these strengths when making stressful actions. If you are interpersonally skilled, for example, see yourself smoothly dealing with questions and objections to your actions. The only way you will ever know what you can do is to act and find out.
  • Don’t Like risk – Sometimes action orientation involves taking chances and trying bold new initiatives. Doing those things leads to more blunders and mistakes. Even successful executives have made more mistakes in their career than those who didn’t make it. Treat any mistakes or failures as a way to learn. Start small so you can recover more quickly. Go for small wins. Don’t land into a major task to prove your boldness. Break it down into smaller tasks. Take the easiest one for you first. Then build up to the tougher ones. Review each task to see where you went wrong, and do better next time. This will help accomplishing the big goal. Be creative and take action in different ways.
  • Lost Interest – Doing the same sort of work for a a long time makes you lose interest in it. If you have done the same tasks, made the same decisions, worked with the same people, it becomes boring. To make the best of this, make a list of what you like and don’t like to do. Lay stress on doing a few activities you like, each day. Work to list the tasks that are no longer motivating to you. Do your least liked activities first; focus not on the activity, but your sense of achievement. Change your work activity to do projects that would be motivating for you.
  • Set Better Priorities – You may not have the correct set of priorities. Some people take action but on the wrong things. Effective managers spend much time on key priorities. People without priorities will actually slow down their action orientation. Pick a few important things and get them done. Don’t get diverted by petty details.
  • Get Organized – Some don’t know the best way to get things done. There are some well established practices for getting work done efficiently and effectively. If you are not disciplined in how you design work for yourself and others, and are late taking action because of it then you can go to a workshop on efficient and effective work design.
  • Afraid Of Others’ Involvement – Taking action requires that you get others on board. Work on your influence and selling skills. Lay out the business reason for the action. Manage how you can help others win with the action. Before you have to take action, get others involved since they are easier to influence. Learn better negotiation skills. Learn to bargain and trade.

Strengthening your action orientation ability and making good business decisions is important, but making sure that those decisions are implemented is also essential to success. To become more action oriented, read a book on the subject, take up an online course or consult an expert. Manage your actions and the results will be well worth the efforts. Training programs to corporates and individuals to help them tap their strengths and create a unique competitive advantage.