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Develop a "Probabilistic" Approach to Managing Uncertainty

# Thomas Bayes'd thought experiment

He wondered how he could predict the probability of a future event if he only knew how many times it had occurred, or not, in the past. Bayes figured out that even when it comes to uncertain outcomes, we can update our knowledge by incorporating new, relevant information as it becomes available.

His theorem describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event.

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## Develop a "Probabilistic" Approach to Managing Uncertainty

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Key Ideas

### Data and how it frames your thinking

What’s more important than how much data you have is how it frames the way you think.

Some leader when they're under pressure to appear decisive, approach complex situations with simple rules or analogies, selectively using data to justify poor judgment calls.

### Thomas Bayes'd thought experiment

He wondered how he could predict the probability of a future event if he only knew how many times it had occurred, or not, in the past. Bayes figured out that even when it comes to uncertain outcomes, we can update our knowledge by incorporating new, relevant information as it becomes available.

His theorem describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event.

### Importance of using probabilistic thinking

Data can be imperfect, incomplete, or uncertain. Most of the time, there is more than one explanation for why things happened the way they did; by examining those alternative explanations using probability, you can gain a better understanding of causality and what is really going on.

### The human mind is naturally deterministic

So thinking probabilistically takes some getting used to. We generally believe that something is true or false.

Our instinct for determinism may well have been an evolutionary innovation. To survive, we had to make snap judgments about the world and our response to it. However, the deterministic approach won’t help us make good decisions in complex, unpredictable environments.

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##### How leaders cope with uncertainty

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##### Attributes to succeed in uncertainty

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They must regularly engage in scenario planning with an array of options. They must build the capacity to be agile. They must learn to become more resilient to withstand strong external forces and quickly recover from setbacks.

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##### Manage uncertainty
• Focus on the things you can control (and ignore those that you can’t)
• Shift from External to Internal Locus of Control. It means you perceive yourself to have more ...
##### Emotional intelligence when facing uncertainty
As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact in a place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated. And these inhibit good decisio...
##### Strategies to improve the quality of your decisions
• Be wary of fear and spot it as soon as it begins to surface.
• Stay positive.
• Know what you know—and what you don’t.
• Embrace that which you can’t control.
• Focus only on what matters.
• Don’t seek perfection - it leaves you lamenting what you failed to accomplish instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.
• Don’t dwell on problems. Rather focus on actions to better yourself.
• Recognize when you are overly influenced by your assumptions and emotions or by another person’s opinion.
• Have a contingency plan without asking "What if?"
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##### Coaching with compassion

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However, during periods of volatility and stress, a taskmaster mode could be a mistake. The individual can feel pressured or obligated, which will make them negative. It is more important to prioritize your team's needs and create an environment of trust and support. It will unleash positive emotions, and the person is likely to feel more confident, hopeful, and willing to consider new ideas.

##### How to coach with compassion

We can follow six steps to help others, using the acronym “REACH”:

• Resonance. Check in with each person without discussing a list of tasks. The goal is to create a supportive and positive relationship.
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• Awareness. Be aware of your mindset and emotions. Emotions are contagious.
• Compassion. Try to focus on the needs of others and encourage caring and warmth to help another person in their development.
• Hope. Spreading positive emotions will uplift others when you help them to picture a brighter and better future.
• Humor. Stress shuts us down to new ideas and experiences. By keeping things light, you remind others to keep smiling. In turn, it will reduce stress and increase satisfaction, productivity, and performance.
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##### Today's uncertainties

The technology and the Internet are making the world evolve at a dizzying rate. The time to live quietly, without changes and having everything under control at all times, is over.

You...

##### Tips for dealing with uncertainty
• Clarify your goals and objectives, what is really important to you and what is optional.
• Create a map.  You need a system that allows you to maneuver when you lose perspective.
• Go towards uncertainty. Take the first step and you’ll see that the limits of the unknown become narrower.
• Focus on what you can control in the short term. Do not obsess over what might happen in the future or you will be foolishly paralyzed.
• Be open to surprises. It will allow you to learn and experience things that you have not even dreamed of.
• Accept the risks
• Be curious. Observe, read, question, learn, do not take anything for granted.
• Be brave. The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
##### Our Work Motivation

Lack of job satisfaction and employee engagement can be due to bad management, lack of transparency and overwork. One important reason that is often overlooked is our personal motivations.

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##### Achievement

People with a high need for achievement seek to excel.
Going for high-risk situations, these go-getters are not sitting relaxed even after reaching their objectives, rather going after the next goal.

##### Power

People who are driven by a need for power love to be in charge, and crave authority even more than monetary gains. They want to make impactful decisions, desiring to be revered and followed.

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##### Working Remotely

There is ongoing turbulence in the workplace due to the uncertainties provided by the new virus, resulting in a whole lot of people working from home. Normally the work-from-home policies are esta...

##### Common Challenges of Remote Work

Even high-performing employees can face a decline in job performance and engagement when working remotely. This can be due to:

• Lack of face-to-face supervision, which leads to a two-way communication gap and even mistrust.
• There is a delay in the procurement of information as remote workers aren’t able to sense the atmosphere and real-time events at the workplace, leading to a lack of ‘mutual knowledge’.
• A sense of isolation among remote workers, leading to a feeling of less belongingness within the organization.
• Distractions at home due to unplanned work-from-home transition, with employees balancing childcare and many other responsibilities along with work.
##### Improving Engagement And Productivity

A few specific, research-backed steps that can be taken to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees:

• Establishing Structured Daily check-ins, by establishing a daily call or touchpoint.
• Providing several different communication technology options, using virtual communication tools like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc., and making use of video conferencing.
• Establishing clear rules of engagement for communicating with the coworkers or the managers, according to the levels of urgency.
• Providing opportunities for remote social interaction by talking about non-work activities, thereby reducing the feeling of isolation among remote workers.
• Offering encouragement and emotional support by listening to the workers, acknowledging their stress, and keeping their needs and issues in focus.
##### An Uncertain World

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##### Kinds of Uncertainty
• Epistemic Uncertainty: Uncertain information and data about the past or present, which can be unraveled by using measuring tools.
• Aleatory Uncertainty: The unknown things about the future related to randomness, luck, chance or indeterminacy.
• Deep Uncertainty: Also called radical uncertainty, it is a state in which there are so many unknown things that the future looks like an abyss.
##### Statistics Vs The Truth

In statistical science, risk is an important uncertainty, but a comparing of risks sometimes does not take into account certain human factors, leading to misinformation or even disinformation. This is due to the statistical models being oversimplifications of the real world.

Statistical data is a ‘Map’, not the actual territory.

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