Ambiguity in the Workplace: Essential Competencies

February 12, 2024

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The challenge of ambiguity in the workplace

In a time of rapid change and constant uncertainty, such as during workplace reorganizations, collaboration with diverse colleagues, and the impact of technological advancements like artificial intelligence on your job, it is essential to develop the skill to deal with ambiguity. The Competence Center Next Generation Work, a collaboration between AMS (Antwerp Management School) and partners such as B-Tonic, SD Worx, and Johnson & Johnson, emphasizes the importance of this competency by combining scientific insights with practical experiences.

Developing ambiguity skills

In practice, there is no perfect approach. We are confronted with various ideas, methods, and dynamics that influence our behavior. How can we best deal with this?

The essential skill for the future

During a recent meeting with partners of the Competence Center Next Generation Work, such as SD Worx and Johnson & Johnson, it became evident that being able to manage ambiguity is seen as a crucial skill for the future. This entails demonstrating resilience in uncertain situations, balancing between different perspectives, and taking well-considered risks, all in a world that is constantly changing.

The path to growth and development

The good news is that you can develop this skill. This occurs not so much through traditional training, but mainly through sharing experiences, mentoring, and coaching each other. Asking for and receiving feedback, regular self-reflection, pushing your boundaries, learning from mistakes, and being inspired by others are all ways to grow in this area.

Diversity and dialogue as key factors

Working in diverse teams and seeking out different perspectives can also be helpful. For example, collaborating with colleagues from different cultures is an excellent way to develop your skills in dealing with uncertainties. This helps you to develop a broader perspective and understand that your way of seeing things is not the only one.

A lifelong learning journey

Dealing with ambiguity in the workplace is a continuous learning process. By being open to new experiences and perspectives, we can better navigate a complex world.

Ambiguity is everywhere, but how do you make your organization resilient and future-proof? With the People Sustainability Scan, you take an important step towards sustainable well-being, linked to the SDGs.

Start here to strengthen your well-being policy. Join us in building an organization that is ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

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Sources

(1) Antwerp Management School.Ambiguity as the only certainty. How do we deal with this?

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maartje vanewijk

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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