The 5 More Common Mistakes: Avoiding And Mishandling Uncertainty

By extending the frontiers, the global leader facing cultural differences discovers the need to embrace ambiguity and still have successful relationships, teams, and organizations.

ambiguity in the globalized world

Let’s see how avoiding and mishandling uncertainty can prevent you from extending your borders successfully and thriving in your next step. Let’s also observe how you can improve your ability to handle ambiguity in the globalized world in which we live.

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As you expand your leadership skills in a globalized world, you will be increasingly exposed to working with a high level of uncertainty. Additionally, maintaining effectiveness without having all the answers or not fully knowing the results of the next step.

In a globalized world, we increasingly face ambiguous situations were day by day:

  • There are changes at high speeds,
  • We have access to different cultures and
  • We live in multicultural environments.
Losing your vision or your project’s vision, in the face of ambiguous situations, can have adverse consequences. For example, it can lead you to have a clouded perspective of what is happening around you and can lead to wrong decision-making.

Maintaining effectiveness in ambiguous environments not only becomes an element of success but has advantages as well:

  • Reduces the level of stress created by ambiguity. As you improve being tolerant in multicultural environments, you will notice that the level of stress decreases.
  • Open your mind to finding new ideas and opportunities. The risk involved in facing something new or unfamiliar will turn into growth and new opportunities.
  • Develop your ability to be flexible in the face of unexpected situations. In times of difficulties, the leader who manages to turn challenges into opportunities has a competitive advantage.

Let’s see how you can achieve it:

  1. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to face ambiguous and unexpected situations. Do not be afraid of making a mistake or not having the answer. Nobody has all the answers, not even the experts. You have the option to say “I do not know yet” or “I’m not sure, I must examine this before answering”.
  2. Increase your intentionality by focusing on the results and not the process. In an ambiguous or unknown environment, you will not have all the necessary information. Do not wait until you know everything, that day may never come. Gather the information available, make the best decision you can and take action.
  3. Avoid getting frustrated with ambiguity and most importantly do not openly show it if you are leading a team. Learn to manage stress and have ways to cultivate a relaxed state of mind. In the worst-case scenario, breathe deeply and start all over again.
  4. Face ambiguity by asking yourself: What should I do? Instead of asking, what could I do? This way you will reduce the tension and more importantly take a step to increase your creativity. This way you can see ambiguity as an opportunity and not as a challenge.
  5. Do not expect different results when continuing to do the same. Look for alternatives, if necessary go for a walk and take a deep breath or distract your mind from another project. The best option is to talk with someone else about the subject to bring new ideas to your mind. Work with a coach or mentor to have creative meetings that inspire you with better ideas and strategies.
    As a coach, I can assure you that this practice will give you excellent results. If you still not working with a coach, visit us at LEADINFORCE, we can help you.
  6. Reduces the need to have control over everything and everyone. In a complex world, the expectation of maintaining control is unreal. On the contrary, it’s going to cause you unnecessary stress.
  7. The best way to handle ambiguities is to be tolerant of them. Work to develop your ability to be flexible and change the course of action as you receive more information. Be tolerant and flexible in front of change. For example: in some cultures having a clear and rapid response is cause for praise and pride; while in other cultures it can be seen as unintelligent, not pleasant, as a direct and tactless response.
  8. Use your resources: your experience, ability to reflect, and maturity count. Even if you do not have a lot of experience in a specific project, I’m sure it’s not the first time you’re in front of an ambiguous situation. Use your creativity, it’s your best ally.

As global leaders, we are facing great challenges. The ambiguity and uncertainty that results from working with different groups, cultures, organizations, and multicultural environments can be overwhelming.

The process of tolerating and managing ambiguity can be difficult, but gaining the results is rewarding for today’s leaders or for the organization.

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