How do you make sense of a high stakes situation where your credibility and confidence are being challenged? What is the appropriate response when you are in front of a hostile executive, with no option to phone a friend? The right answer always depends, and what it depends on is your ability to take a read of the influences at play and what they might mean. That is where models come in. With the right model, you can gain insight on what is happening and make a meaningful determination of your next move. Here’s how to do it.
I’ve been exploring liminality and in-between spaces in a few posts. And while the structure is simple, and the ideas it offers are profound and meaningful, actual living in and transitioning through liminal spaces is often anything but clear, ordered or certain. There can be a great deal of fuzziness, frustration and even fear. I thought it would be helpful to explore what it’s like to actually live in the in-between spaces.
Some of our hardest questions are hard simply because the situation is complex and the possible outcomes are fuzzy and abstract. Knowing how to make a good decision, and how to sustain one, is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to be able to sort through the fuzziness and get to the heart of what matters.
Culture is important. And context is everything. And yet, when we make decisions, we very often ignore the things that we should pay attention to the most. Worse, our tendency to do that is hard wired. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way, though.
When someone asks you what you do and where you are going, what do you answer? And is that answer an honest reflection of your dreams, or is there a hint of defensiveness behind it? It’s hard to reinvent ourselves, and it’s hard to make a change. There are times that it is necessary, but making that call involves careful personal judgement. In our journey through life, we persevere, we adapt and we follow-through where necessary.
Yes, “why” is a problematic question. And in asking it, we run the risk of being seen as part of the problem. That’s in large part because we often fear the answer. We don’t have to, and there are choices in how we respond. We just need to be willing to make them.