Ambiguous times are no time for ambiguous leadership

Strategy + Business, 2020-08-05

Quite a simplistic article, but nicely points out the fact that paranoia thrives in uncertain times.

Communication Issues

  • Written speech can be ambiguous, especially without observing the author.

  • Even video conferencing makes it hard to read nuances of body language.

Psychological Issues

  • Less face to face contact with the boss – higher anxiety and uncertainty. Looking for meta clues / symbols that don’t exist.

  • Even worse if the person’s job is monitored via video or desktop software.

  • Uncertainty leads to worrisome scenarios in people’s heads.


  • Be as clear and free of ambiguity as you can.

  • Provide context in communication.

  • Proactively seek opportunities to explain.

  • Offer an opportunity to answer unasked questions.