How To Manage Uncertainty

The pace of change is relentless and managers need to be able to deal with the unexpected and unwelcome parts of the job that create uncertain working conditions and pressures that make achieving goals and targets that much harder.

Change is also not easy to deal with and this brings with it increased complexity which means that making the right decision becomes that much harder.

So, what can we do about this ever-changing situation and how can managers prepare and rise to the challenge?

  1. Supress your urge to control things: it is not possible to have a strategy for everything and you must recognise that controlling everything is just not achievable. Let go of the idea and learn to react appropriately!
  2. Act without the full picture: you can never achieve true control and total certainty will never happen. What you must do however is to get all the information that you can, make the best decision that you can and then act upon that decision.
  3. Know and accept that some of your decisions will be wrong: making a wrong decision is always better than NO decision! Try to get it right more times than you get it wrong and reflect and learn from the experience.
  4. Be flexible: change your course and direction as more information arrives and is fed to you. Incorporate the new information and use this to your advantage.
  5. Be comfortable with uncertainty: you cannot know or control it all, therefore recognise that the world is an imperfect place and deal with it!
  6. There is never a defined path of route to follow: there are seldom any “right” or “wrong” answers and there is no such thing as a magic bullet of miracle remedy.
  7. Be confident in your own abilities: confidence will help you through ambiguous and challenging times. Make a stand, be a good listener, avoid the spotlight, ask for help, never be afraid to be wrong and always learn from your mistakes.
  8. Listen to your inner voice: what is your inner-you telling you about the situation?
  9. Listen to advice: listen carefully to what those around you are saying and actively seek out those who you know will have a different view. What does this combination tell you ad how can you use these opinions to your advantage?
  10. Manage you stress: have outlets to relieve the pressures that managing in ambiguous and uncertain times brings with it. Successful managers dealing with such challenges always fine time and space to refresh themselves and come back with renewed energy.

Good Luck!

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