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How Certain Are You?

How Certain Are You?

Being certain evokes a calm assuredness, a steadfast confidence. If you are certain, you are sure. There is a popular proverb, “there is nothing certain, but the uncertain.” While in a philosophical sense this is true, it is essential that we have some degree of certainty both so we can have self-confidence and inspire confidence in others. This is particularly true for leaders — teams need to see their leaders be certain to follow. If you are not 100% certain, that is OK — you just need to determine if you are certain “enough” given the information that you have right now. When new information becomes available, then you can pivot as needed.

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will focus on being certain — even if it is just being certain “enough” — and I will observe the ripple effects on those around me.

Avoiding being Defensive (overuse): There is being certain, and then there is being so certain that you shut out other possibilities. At that point, being certain comes across as being defensive — justifying your point of view and needing to be “right.” If you notice that you’ve moved from being certain to a defensive posture, be curious about why you feel so strongly about it. Is being “right” worth the potential emotional strain on the relationship with the person you’re talking with? What information are you missing, and do you need to reevaluate your position?

Commendable Trait: Certain
Underused: Uncertain
Overused: Defensive
Strength: Confidence
Quadrant: Courage