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Disambiguation of Your Work World
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What a terrible title...only an idiot would expect a reader to get beyond the title. Well, read on anyway and find out what this idiot has in mind.

I am not a philosopher or scholar. I am a practitioner finding ways for people to achieve better results, enhance their lives and find their happiness. The fundamental force for this journey is motivation that's used deliberately and decisively. Leaders are responsible for outlining the journey and even designating the waypoints. But the motivation to attempt the trip can only come from the minds of employees who find meaning in engaging the challenge. 
Clarity through Focus - The Raffetto Group

Make any sense yet? If you're not sure, then let me add more of my thinking.

If you are a successful leadership veteran, you know what "outlining the journey and designating the waypoints" entails. And you know that if you fail to do so, you are lost, just like every explorer before you. But when you provide a destination plus a map for getting there, your chances for success are markedly better. The problem is that while you can create your destination (with the help of a goals program), there is no accurate map for getting where you want to go. This is where "disambiguation" becomes critical.

Dictionary references tell us:
"Disambiguation refers to the removal of ambiguity or uncertainty."

Think about it! In every moment of your business day you face innumerable episodes of lowering or removing uncertainty as much as you can. You can tackle the daily task in a linear manner, dealing with each episode as it happens, or you can anticipate these episodes and navigate around them ahead of time. Sounds great but where do you get the navigational maps? After all, there's no GPS System for this journey.

A great source of "maps", but not the only source, is your own brain and the brains of the strongest players who signed on for the journey. Then too, there are the "early explorers" who made the journey before you and who claim to have a detailed map with route and waypoints clearly marked. But there are so many "explorers" and so many "maps" that the effect is to increase uncertainty and transform ambiguity into disengagement. All the more reason to identify which "cognitive map" is the best for your plans. 

Now, are you with me? If yes, please continue (if not, reread the previous paragraph if you please.)

Here's my challenge to you: 
Let ambiguity and uncertainty become your very best friend. To do that you'll have to don your "psychologist hat" and ask what benefit these human "frailties" have for moving from survival to self-actualization. For example, both ambiguity and uncertainty activate emotional motivation which, as Garrison Keillor would say, "gives you the energy to get up and do what needs to be done." But that darn rowdy energy always comes as positive and negative. In other words it's telling you to get involved or run like the Devil.

When the activated energy at work is heavily negative and you can't escape it, the "feelings" that accrue are energy drainers that go by such names as, "confused, lost, anxious, irritated, disillusioned, ambivalent and yes, disengaged." It would be like embarking on your journey with people in the back seat whining "Are we there yet?" Oh the exhaustion of it all!

If you've made it this far, you're ready for some consultative remedies for the challenge of generating much more positive (far less negative) energy throughout your journey. For starters try these in whatever order makes sense for your situation.

First in my mind is how you make every waypoint on the journey as crystal clear as possible. Your people should be as excited as you to reach each meaningful step along the way. 

I suggest you emphasize:

a)  What they should expect to see; 

b)  What is there that they will enjoy; and 

c)  What resources await them at this stage. 

Next, I would suggest you let one or more of your capable employees share in the navigation. Then I'd also consider delegating a "co-pilot's" role to one of your key players. My last thought is to encourage some shared responsibility for identifying a waypoint or two that you had not anticipated passing on the way to your destination.

These items are a sample of how to use "improvement in certainty" as a method of fostering positive motivation. There are more items and methods that will appear in another newsletter. I hope you'll agree with me that the strange, big word, "disambiguation", has a very practical and powerful use. Disambiguation will clear things up. When you see or hear the word, expect the process of "clearing up confusion" to begin. What a great ally for you to have.

Don't Lose That Thought, 

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Allen M. "Dr. Al" Raffetto, Ph.D.
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