Managing Teams Through Ambiguity

Ben Parkison
Ben Parkison
April 19, 2023
Managing Teams Through Ambiguity

You’re finding your stride as a team manager, gaining experience on your leadership path, when the unexpected happens: your org is suddenly going through some giant change even you aren’t fully certain of the extent of. Already discomforting for yourself, you also have a group of reports looking to you for clarity and guidance. While keeping morale and motivation going in such times of uncertainty and ambiguity sounds daunting, you’ve still got many tools at hand: 

  • Use your voice -- and encourage your team to do so as well: Be honest, don’t pretend like things are clear. Being communicative and forthright gets you ahead of the rumor-mill, and instead fosters productive discussions within your team.

  • Use your vision: No, we’re not talking about your literal eyesight! Despite the unpredictability at large, you’re still a team with goals and ideas. Bring everyone together to maintain a sense of purpose, and share expectations with outside stakeholders.

  • Embrace curiosity and imagination: Channel the jittery energy of uncertain times into productive creativity and experimentation. While familiarity isn’t guaranteed, the ability to explore is still intact, and who knows, perhaps solutions to the situation are discovered!

  • Take stock of your resources: Things look uncertain, but not all is lost. Regroup and assess what your team has access to and what should be acquired. Consider not just the tangible but also intangible needs like additional training and coaching.

  • “Lean on me, when you’re not strong…”: Those impactful lyrics are true here in the workplace, not just in friendship! Now more than ever your team culture is important, as team members are undoubtedly in need of feeling safe and supported.

Maintain hope and resiliency: Keep afloat by holding on to the buoyancy of positivity. Don’t be fake about it but do grasp onto salient moments of success and support. Remind the team there are things to strive for, that the light is eventually coming.

Ready to level up your manager game?

Try now with your next team meeting

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