Posted by Mike Kaaks

19 April 2014

Know Thyself. It is at the top of the list of my values. It’s also a key to dealing with ambiguity. Knowing all of your diversity. Knowing your beliefs, values, mission provides insight into the way you will act when faced with uncertainties. I like to look at the definitions of both Ambiguity and Ambiguous when discussing this topic as it helps frame thinking:

Ambiguous - open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning
Ambiguity - The quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness

Ahh!! now it’s clear. It’s about life! Everything we confront has multiple possibilities, multiple solutions, and different ways we can engage. In the work environment this is particularly the case. At performance review time we so often hear the question “how do they deal with ambiguity?” Being good at it is a valued commodity.
Let’s consider a couple of aspects of self awareness. How do you approach your work in terms of the metaphor of left brain and right brain? Are you data centric, or informed by your senses. What about the way you see the world? Do we all stand alone, or are we part of one connected whole? Do you believe that action in one place will result in further action somewhere else in your universe? What about in the higher order of things. You feel that (in Maslow's terms) you are fully self-actualised? If so does that play into an awareness of self that is sensed at a level that needs no words, that the understanding is so deep it collapses when you try to put into words?

With the anchor of a high level of self-awareness there is no room for doubt when confronted by inexactness. Referencing yourself takes you quickly to a position on the matter at hand and the question about how you deal with ambiguity becomes a statement - "handles ambiguity in her stride!"