Responding to uncertainty establishes trajectory, impacts potential, and determines quality of life.
Uncertainty is the spotlight of leadership.
The dark side of uncertainty:
- Intolerance and quick tempers.
- Lost perspective and poor judgments. Things that didn’t bother you yesterday, bother you today.
- Anxiety and helplessness. Imagining an uncertain future invites you to feel helpless today.
When uncertainty goes up, anxiety makes you feel like it doesn’t matter what you do. But, it matters more.
The future is uncertain – behaviors you choose today are not.
5 ways to face uncertainty with confidence:
- Describe more – explain less.
- Leaders who always understand why things are happening are blind to their own ignorance.
- Foolish judgements are the result of false certainty.
- Describe challenges. The reason they exist is often up for grabs.
- Make decisions that reflect your values. Values are points of stability in uncertain times. Allow turbulence to clarify:
- What’s important?
- Who you choose to be?
- How you choose to treat each other, today?
- Reconnect with key behaviors that expresses who you are. For example, I love curiosity, but under stress, curiosity shuts down. I get aggressive. Key behaviors include:
- Lower my voice.
- Soften my tone.
- Ask a question when I feel like defending, telling, or convincing.
- Lighten up. The ability to lighten up during uncertainty allows you to re-energize.
- Take a break or a walk.
- Shoot some hoops.
- Play a game.
- Get an outside perspective.
- Find a listener who helps you think your own thoughts. (Be this for others.)
- Connect with the voice of experience.
- Avoid people who offer quick solutions.
Bonus: Tell stories about grit in the past. I remember when days were dark and …. We can do it again.
Things may not work out, but you can be proud of how you faced uncertainty, today.
How might leaders face uncertainty with confidence?