Uncertainty. It’s a fact of life.
What does uncertainty have to do with influence? More than you know.
The degree of your influence is directly affected by how uncertain you are and how you express that uncertainty. When you doubt your facts, second guess your observations of the influencee, or are fraught with indecision, your influence potential goes down considerable.
However, sometime, somewhere and somehow, you are going to run into uncertainty and the unknown. Now, I realize it’s never comfortable to have to deal with uncertainty, but I’ve found there are five steps you can take to conquer, or at least manage, the unknown and build your confidence.
Step 1: Identify the Unknown
Sometimes this is easy. It might be that you aren’t sure if your boss liked your proposal. Other times, it could take a while to pinpoint exactly what it is that you’re uncertain about. Maybe you’re uncertain about the career path you’ve chosen or maybe you aren’t sure you’re ready to start a family.
Step 2: Create a Roadmap
Now that you’ve pinpointed what you’re uncertain about, it’s time to create a mental roadmap. Try and imagine all of the possible twists and turns that different choices could take you on. One decision may take you in a completely different direction than other, but by visualizing different paths, you are lessening the chance that uncertainty will catch you completely off guard.
Step 3: Identify Potential Pitfalls
From those potential paths that you’ve imagined, do you see any problems that might arise? I would be surprised if you didn’t run into some problems along the way since no path is ever perfect. Try to predict what some of the problems of various directions might be and proceed to solve them. You’ll find it’s much easier to find solutions to things that might happen as opposed to waiting until they do.
Step 4: Overcome Obstacles with Creative Thinking
Since you have started coming up with possible problems, now it’s time to brainstorm some solutions! This is the part I love because it involves delving into your creative side. Some solutions might be simple and others will involve you relying on your intuition, but all of them will have you thinking of creative solutions.
Step 5: Consider Uncertainty Managed!
Look at that! Suddenly, that uncertainty doesn’t seem all that uncertain does it? When you take the time to problem solve through unknowns, you come out on the other side with clarity and feel empowered for having solved the problem.
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