𝗔𝗺𝗯𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿 - 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗿 𝗪𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀? 𝗕𝗼𝘁𝗵!
Updated: May 6
Confidence. For some people it’s considered a necessity and for others an aspiration, but most people list confidence as a desired trait.
Ambivalence can be perceived as the opposite. When someone is ambivalent, they are no longer viewed as confident.
Is that true? Can someone be confident overall but ambivalent in the moment? Are there optimal times for both? Let’s take a confident look at ambivalence.
Ambivalence means you see the benefits of multiple options. You are more willing to learn new information and to hear diverse advice.
Holding ambivalence can be valuable in the following situations:
· Strategy – viewing all options and approaches
· Creation – exploring new approaches
· Negotiation – empathizing with others' risks and rewards
· Organization – weighing all threats and opportunities
Ambiguity can feel uncomfortable as you evaluate lots of choices and recognize their risks. If you can live with that discomfort, you may gain new insights into new ideas and options.
When you demonstrate and encourage ambivalence, the team will likely match your disposition. People will seek input from each other, be more collaborative, and perform better in the long run.
Ambivalence will be detrimental in certain situations:
· Emergencies – deciding and acting quickly
· Implementations – focusing and being efficient once you decide
· Assaults – defending your values consistently and determinedly
· Deadlines – implementing plans to move forward
A leader perceived as unconfident may also be considered weak, incapable, and less competent. Knowing this, you need to respond deliberately when the audience is expecting decisiveness (e.g. in the midst of a crisis).
There’s a clear but important difference between experiencing ambivalence and expressing confidence.
When to Know the Difference
Toggle between the two traits based on the situation and the audience (e.g. pitching with new investors versus brainstorming with the team).
Recognize the benefits of both approaches and make a conscious choice (e.g. privately seek advice and publicly display a decisive plan). When time allows, evaluate fully and then act decisively (i.e. evaluate the upsides and the downsides of uncertainty versus determination).
Since both miring in strategy and leaping into motion have risks, set a deadline to weigh options and then convert one to action.
Ambivalence is perceived as a detriment and feels uncomfortable, so it’s not surprising that we are tempted to avoid it.
However, if you convert ambivalence into action in a reasonable time, then you can apply the best of learning and creativity to effective solutions.
Photo by Niklas Hamann who can be found here: https://bit.ly/3u8VhAd