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Ambiguity


“Take advantage of the ambiguity in the world. Look at something and think what else it might be.” Roger von Oech

I can still vividly remember when my future employer then (back in 2006) asked in a job interview,”How do you handle ambiguity at work?”

To which I replied (rather philosophically),”We fear of the unknown. So, we must always try to clarify and make the unknown a known.”

Today, the way I handle ambiguity as mentioned above still very much rings true. Clarify the unknown. Demystify the ambiguity.

Why clarity is the way to go

Obviously nobody in this world can read anybody’s mind (Extra Sensory Perception  aside). Therefore, to ensure clarity, we need to really articulate it in the right manner and also ensure that all the intended parties receive the same message. Mincing words, beating around the bush, tip toeing around are surely a long winding road to get there. To a specific degree, some frictions or conflicts are just inevitable to reach this objective of clarity.

How to demystify the ambiguity

Simply do it. Re-phrase the sentence. Talk through it. Write it down. Draw it. Put a chart. You cannot overdo it.

So…

Some might say.”Hey, man. I hate to be unpopular. Let’s just go with the flow.” To which I will reply,”Well, if by flow you mean ‘flowing around in circle’ then you can surely count me out.”

Clarify it and move on with it.

Set your eyes on the horizon. This boat will sail due North be it rain or shine, typhoon or whirlwind.

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