Comfort with Ambiguity

Definition: Recognize that developing new concepts involves uncertainty; be able to push forward with incomplete information.

Relates to: Integrate and Co-Create


  1. Try to understand a complex problem or process by creating a visual. Use a fishbone diagram to document the cause and effect of the particular problem or process.
  2. When faced with ambiguity, get organized. Write down what you know and document your assumptions. Outline the major deliverables or tasks you believe need to be completed. Use the Work Breakdown Structure to help you break down big projects into smaller steps.
  3. Act incrementally when you are uncertain. Take small steps, get quick feedback, correct mistakes, and move forward. Starting small and getting quick feedback will help you make progress despite ambiguity.
  4. In uncertain situations, delve into what is causing the problem. Use the 5 Whys tool to probe deeper and explore potential problem solutions.
  5. Reflect on your emotional response to change and ambiguity. Are you easily frustrated when things change? Do you get overwhelmed by too many possibilities or a lack of clarity? If yes, chances are your responses are counterproductive. The next time you experience ambiguity, step back and work on your emotional intelligence to gain control.


"How to Deal With Ambiguity."

"Dealing with Ambiguity."