Evans Incorporated

Tackling Ambiguity

Thrive in Five
Often impossible to diagnose, ambiguity is known to be a leading cause of conflict between teams. It creeps into scenarios, and leads to feelings of insecurity. These complex situations can feel new and unfamiliar. Today we will explore how to tackle symptoms of ambiguity as an individual, team member and organization!

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Leading In Ambiguity!

Ambiguity can be defined as a lack of understanding and alignment between the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) and their causes. We can tackle ambiguity by identifying its root cause, that is typically due to the lack of direction by leadership and key stakeholders!

According to Kail, this lack of understanding can be improved using 3 simple tips:

Tip 1: Listen Well

Active listening is your ability to fully capture, comprehend and respond to what the person in front of you is talking about.

Tip 2: Think Divergently

A collaborative environment will yield effective results and confident employees. Such partnership creates a space with diverse ideas, and multiple approaches or solutions to a singular problem.

Tip 3: Set Up Incremental Dividends

Celebrating success is extremely important and reassuring to an individual, team and organization so they know they are moving in the right direction.

Apply the Five!

Now it’s time to look within yourself!

Use these tips to get comfortable with the uncomfortable:

Stretch: Do something that makes you uncomfortable, run a race or sing to your peers!

Stop: Pick and choose your battles, accept what cannot be changed and move on.

See: Pay attention and observe how those around you stay calm, cool and collected.

Center: Take time to meditate or walk in nature!

Surprise: Give a gift to someone when they least expect it, and see the happiness on their face!

The best way to tackle ambiguity is to accept and invite it into your life with open arms!

Learn How Evans Thrives!

What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?

Meet Christina Hansen!

Christina at Evans 25th Anniversary Party!

Christina at Evans 25th Anniversary Party!

My first day at Evans was nearly 5 months ago, but I still feel like a new hire. Like many of my colleagues, I am new to the FAA, new to consulting, and knew very little about my client’s work—in my case, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
I spent my first few weeks sipping the alphabet soup, trying to learn all the acronyms, offices, and technical terminology in a fast-paced industry. I was fortunate enough to work with my colleague prior to covering for her while she was on maternity leave, so I could lean on her as a resource. Supposedly there is no such thing as a dumb question; however, I think I pushed the limits of that adage while training.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my role so far is a good consultant embraces ambiguity. We are often expected to initiate or complete tasks with very little direction or information, which can be especially challenging when you are new to your job or moving to a different client.

I’ve tackled ambiguity by approaching it like a jigsaw puzzle: one piece at a time. I start by identifying what is being asked—the corners; then outline the parameters and relevant information—the edges; and finally fill in the odd shapes to see the whole picture. What I love about Evans is there are always people to help you find the missing pieces!

I have found breaking down the issue or task in this way helps me communicate with my client because I can share my approach and provide a starting point for the discussion. The antidote to ambiguity is communication. Ambiguity is an opportunity to learn, collaborate, and help my clients, which is why I embrace it.

Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley, Mahi Chopra and Nicole Anderson)

Employees THRIVE when they are involved, mentored, challenged, healthy, paid well, appreciated, empowered, trusted, connected to strategy, heard
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)

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