Managers should help bring clarity to their team and make decisions on the best available information. That is a key role of managers. But somehow this gets lost. Let’s look at the concept of “dealing with ambiguity” and see how this can happen:
In many work environments, one of the key competencies managers and employees are expected to have is “dealing with ambiguity.” For example, if you look at Microsoft’s education competencies (listed here), “dealing with ambiguity” is defined as follows:
Dealing with Ambiguity: Can effectively cope with change; can shift gears comfortably; can decide and act without having the total picture; can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty.
With this definition, it appears that one who “deals with ambiguity” could be someone who accepts the ongoing state of ambiguity. That is, “dealing with ambiguity” means “living such that ambiguous things stayed ambiguous.” Or in other words, “Keep things ambiguous—that’s OK.”
Nowhere in the description of this competency, surprisingly, is the ongoing effort to reduce ambiguity.