Magic in the Room #33 – Unlocking EQ: Navigating Ambiguity

Our brains desire certainty and are wired to anticipate what will happen next. When what happens next is unclear, we process the event as a threat. High-performing leaders are comfortable with the unknown and commit to processes that clarify objectives and the roles required to meet them. This develops patterns of predictability and rewarding outcomes. In this episode, Chris, Luke, and Hannah discuss strategies for navigating ambiguity and moving forward in the face of uncertainty.

The journey of every leader and their performance is ripe with ambiguity. We all have to deal with many situations where we don’t have all the answers and seldom have all the information we need. Developing our emotional intelligence while navigating ambiguity is ultimately about decision making and establishing direction.


What was the last good or wrong decision you made? When trying to find her way in a global pandemic, Hannah felt confused about many things in a new world of uncertainty. She shares how hiring a coach and aligning herself with someone in her corner was the best decision she could have made when attempting to navigate ambiguity.


Chris compares leadership options to the dilemmas that face us all when staring at a menu in a restaurant. What do you do when faced with a dish that you know you like versus the special or something you have always wanted to try? In leadership, we often choose between the status quo versus what’s possible. Both of these situations highlight the challenges that we face each day.


Without even realizing it, we automatically compare the risks associated with each potential outcome. High-performance leaders will seek clarity in areas aligned with their purpose, mission, and role to perform effectively in ambiguous situations.


The fog of ambiguity can lead to a confused and fatigued mind that will struggle to make the right decisions and produce clear outcomes. Aligning yourself with someone that helps you gain focus and clarity can help you understand precisely where you need to go and the required steps you will need to take to get there.


Getting comfortable being uncomfortable while obtaining as much clarity as we can is much easier than it sounds. But we need to remember that our purpose never changes. In 2020, the reason why our client partners exist has not changed. Only the environment in which we operate has.

The hosts reflect on how adapting to these new conditions has enabled them to move at the same speed as the problem.


Nobody wants to live in the fog of ambiguity. But we all can navigate with the visibility we do have. Our working methods, combined with the tools we have accumulated in our career and the support of others, will quickly provide the clarity that we need to move forward.

How are you and your teams navigating the fog of ambiguity? 




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