Uncertainty & the Messy Middle

The fact is, every decision and every change you make carries some degree of uncertainty. How could it not? You cannot control every variable, which means the outcome cannot be absolutely certain. 

Amare leaders know that in any change process – starting a company, creating new innovation, shifting the culture – there are three main phases: First is letting go of what was, or deconstruction. Last is creating what will be, or reconstruction. And in-between is the messy middle, with ups and downs, ambiguity, risk, and surprises. 

The uncertainty of the messy middle is challenging. You can worry about what might happen and suffer. Or you can take steps to reduce uncertainty. Then you can surrender to the necessity of uncertainty and choose to trust in life. The payoff of taking action to reduce uncertainty when you can, and then to surrender and trust, is extraordinary. Though it is not always easy, it is the Amare Way.

Think about change and uncertainty in your workplace.

  • How does your organization handle uncertainty?
  • How do you lead yourself through the messy middle?
  • How do you lead your people through the messy middle?
  • What is your experience of surrendering to uncertainty?

Being able to manage uncertainty is a key skill for successful leaders to master. You must not only be able to lead yourself through the messy middle, you want to be able to guide others as well.

Read on to learn a few strategies to help you do that.

6 Amare Ways to Manage Uncertainty & The “Messy Middle”

1. Start with acceptance. Choose to believe, ideally without judgement, that uncertainty is inevitable in anything involving change. Period. 

2. Don’t avoid the discomfort. Plan what you will do to manage the moments when the messiness and ickiness of the messy middle starts to feel like too much. Remember to use your breathing, too!

3. Practice trusting. Choose low consequence situations for  mini-experiments: After doing your due diligence, say “Now I will trust in the _________ (process, universe, you choose the word!).” Then let go and trust.

4. Use a confidant. Invite a friend or colleague you trust to support you through the messy middle. Set the rules of engagement and be totally honest with them and with yourself.  

5. Celebrate the damn learnings. Every up and down on your change journey contains a lesson for you and your company, even if it’s painful. Learn it. Make the uncertainty and messy middle count! 

6. Remember the prize! You are making change to get to a better state. Remind yourself again and again of your “why” – even if you don’t yet know exactly what the better state will look like. That will allow for grace during uncertainty.

Fearless trust is at the core of managing uncertainty and the messy middle. Imagine if your trust quotient doubled and your fear quotient halved! If that sounds good to you, contact me to explore executive coaching infused with Amare.

Today’s Amare Wave Wednesday Quote

“The messy middle: where grace and truth reside.”

―Amy Young, author of Connected

To learn more about the Amare Way movement, the book The Amare Wave, or my Amare executive coaching services, visit www.MosheEngelberg.com.

Modified from original publication on MosheEngelberg.com


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