How To Get Comfortable With Uncertainty: The Ambiguity Mindset with Debbie Sutherland

People don’t hate change, they hate the ambiguity that comes with change. Organizational psychologist, Dr Debbie Sutherland PhD, shares the tools we can use, both in business settings and in our personal lives, to overcome our discomfort with ambiguity and to thrive in uncertain environments.

Debbie is an academic executive coach with both a masters degree and doctorate degree from Columbia University. She has recently written a well researched book, The Business of Ambiguity: Demystify the Unknown with Five Key Thinking and Behavior Strategies, which gives business leaders a blueprint for making better decisions in ambiguous situations. After all, ambiguous and uncertain situations aren’t going away, so we might as well figure out how to deal with them!

My research shows that the people who thrive in ambiguity…change their mind, no problem. If they get more information that helps along the way, they were okay with it, they didn't lose face. ~ Debbie Sutherland, Ep 324 Share on X

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(2:31) Welcome and speed round questions.

(5:35) Why do people hate ambiguity?

(9:40) How frustration led to Debbie’s research on ambiguity?

(11:25) The value of critical reflection.

(16:11) How journaling can help you find patterns in behavior.

(21:09) Mental models of ambiguity.

(23:02) Reflection IN action vs. reflection ON action.

(25:44) The ambiguity of THE dress.

(29:18) The Ambiguity Mindset – intuitive or learned?

(30:26) Where do leaders make mistakes with managing ambiguity?

(38:25) What music would Debbie take to a desert island?

(43:04) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on ambiguity.


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AIRDATE: October 24, 2022 EPISODE 324

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How To Get Comfortable With Uncertainty: The Ambiguity Mindset with Debbie Sutherland

Featured Guest

Dr Debbie Sutherland PhD