TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

The Problem With Certainty

It seems our collective capacity to consider - simultaneously - the many sides to a decision is weak, if not nonexistent. We crave certainty in some (any!) aspect of our lives, and the pressures of the moment reinforce our natural tendency toward confirmation bias. Seeing an issue through another person's eyes has become too uncomfortable to bear, especially in light of the marathon ills, both literal and figurative, we are enduring from the COVID-19 pandemic. The continual demands of adjusting to changes in our home and work environments have left us with little emotional energy and cognitive space.

The problem, however, is that being certain about the rightness or wrongness of others' decisions leaves little room for us to grow or expand our understanding, not just of other people but of their situations and their circumstances. Our inability to control a knee-jerk reaction that shuts down ambivalence borne from disagreement or uncertainty limits our ability to make progress, personally and professionally. In other words, we get stuck. We get stuck as individual citizens, and we get stuck as managers and leaders.

How do we get unstuck? By doing what's uncomfortable, unfortunately.

Continued here


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