Manage Ambiguity Training

Lee Roulston

By Lee Roulston, Thinka Co-founder,
11 January 2024

Thinka’s ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ workshop

In an increasingly digital and fast-paced world, we are dealing with complexity and ambiguity like never before. Multiple projects, multiple skill sets, competing demands and the need for constant priority setting ­­– leaders need to be able to both sit in and work through ambiguity to offer clarity to team members. The capacity to reflect and find meaning, before launching into problem solving, is critical to success.

What you’ll explore

  • The role of ambiguity in decision-making
  • Avoiding the ‘quick fix’ and groupthink
  • The role of a reflective practice mindset
  • Effective collaboration for finding clarity
  • Making meaning from different sources

What you’ll apply

  • Ability to sit in ambiguity comfortably
  • Strategies for working through ambiguity
  • A reflective practice mindset
  • Techniques for effective collaboration
  • Ability to make meaning and provide clarity
Workshop Purpose

Being able to manage ambiguous situations is essential in a complex working world. When leaders are proficient in how to deal with ambiguity, problem-solving skills, and decision-making, you’re better able to achieve outcomes. In the future of work, employees will be faced with a lot of ambiguity and uncertain situations and need skills to deal with these. The purpose of this workshop is to help leaders and teams embrace the unknown and prepare them for a range of new situations that will inevitability come as technology advances and job roles evolve.

Working with organisations across Australia, we know that leaders and teams are facing new challenges in a changing environment. Here’s a few of them:

  1. Greater leadership demands: Leaders are faced with more complex problems and tougher management challenges than ever before. Modern leadership is more nuanced and leaders must constantly evaluate situations to find the right course of action to move forward. With a tolerance tolerance of ambiguity, and being comfortable to face the unknown, leaders can make the best decision before acting. 
  2. Technology and rise of AI: Advancements in technology and the way we work will automate more manual work, changing job roles and what organisations consider valuable. Leaders with skills to manage ambiguity, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving competencies, will become increasingly desirable. 
  3. Complex world of work: Living in a ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment means that leaders need to be able to cope with times of uncertainty and complex change. Covid recovery, economic instability and hybrid working have all transformed the way we manage work-life. 
  4. Flatter hierarchies: More and more, organisations are becoming flatter with employees having more responsibility and autonomy than ever before – especially in hybrid working environments. Leaders need to provide direction and support team members to face and handle change. Skills to manage ambiguity help with providing team members clarity in these times. 
  5. Constant upskilling: Career development is not an event and upskilling is continually required in a world of work that is constantly changing and evolving. Radical changes and small steps in the way of continuous improvement are important for leaders and their teams. Leaders will need to empower their teams to grow competencies and stay current, especially at the rapid rate technology is evolving.

Overall, these challenges can make it more difficult for leaders without a tolerance of ambiguity. However, with the right support such as Thinka’s ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ Training and coaching sessions, leaders can thrive in this complex world of work.

Workshop Benefits

With the help of ‘Navigate Ambiguity‘ Training, skills that leaders can put in place to enhance performance include:

  1. Critical thinking skills: When leaders seek out information, evidence and data, they make better decisions. Instead of moving too fast into ‘solution mode’, they properly assess problems or challenges to decide on an action plan. Critical thinkers call out bias and are willing to challenge decisions when there is contrary data. 
  2. Problem-solving: New situations, projects and ever-changing work environments call for constant problem solving. Leaders are better equipped to deal with ongoing change when they have strong skills in assessing the root cause of a problem, applying strategies to solve problems, and sharing learning experiences with colleagues. 
  3. Growth mindset and active learning: Active learning is a critical skill for leaders in today’s work environment, as they often need to upskill quickly to keep up with current trends and expectations. Leaders can develop their active learning skills by keeping an open mind, seeking out new opportunities, and developing a range of learning strategies. 
  4. Perspective taking: Ambiguity can arise when there are different perspectives in the workplace, but leaders who can appreciate diversity will consider all inputs without bias. Leaders can enhance their leadership skills by staying calm and objective in situations, truly listening to others, asking the right questions, and promoting teamwork. 
  5. Decision making: Leaders make well-considered decisions with confidence when they’ve considered the ‘grey areas’ and make informed choices. Leaders can build this this capability by working through different scenarios, researching and establishing best practice, and by weighing up both positive and negative impacts.

By developing competencies in these practical skills, leaders can grow capability in managing ambiguity and navigate change in the workplace.

Workshop FAQs

What is ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ Training?

Our ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ Training is specifically designed for leaders to develop skills in managing uncertainty and change. It aims to provide participants with the skills, tools, resources and confidence necessary to handle increasingly complex work environments. Our experienced facilitators have worked with many leaders across Australia and draw from case studies and shared experiences to offer meaningful advice about how you deal with ambiguity.

Why should my organisation offer ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ Training?

Being part of this training can help leaders improve their tolerance of ambiguity, engage in problem solving, and collaborate. It can also help leaders learn how to ‘slow down to speed up’ so they consider the right actions. The workshop experience is designed to help leaders learn from each other and see how they might flex to navigate different situations.

Who can attend ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ Training?

This training is designed for senior leaders. The skills we focus on builds competency in developing a tolerance of ambiguity, critical thinking, and cognitive flexibility for embracing change. However, this training can be easily customised for emerging leaders, frontline leaders, or middle management as well. A team leader might want to be involved in the session with their team too.

Is ‘Navigate Ambiguity’ training only available in person?

This training can be delivered in an in-person, virtual or hybrid format; depending on the organisation’s set-up. It is typically made up of strategies, discussions and a series of activities to support on the job application. The training can be complemented with coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in challenging old behaviours and building fresh confidence and capability in each of the participants.

Cognitive flexibility principles was so interesting – I had not come across this before. Really enjoyed the group work too.

Navigate Ambiguity participant, PHD

Workshop Outline

Delivery Options

In Person Workshop

Virtual Workshop

See Demo

Key Outcomes

1. Leaders who can sit in and help others sit in ambiguity.

2. Leaders who are willing to take time and explore possibilities.

3. Leaders who continually reflect on situations to find clarity.

4. Leaders who know how to apply effective collaboration skills.

5. Leaders who can make meaning from different sources.

Target Audience


Learning Approach

Experiential and application based learning

Workshops to pair me with:

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Inspire Vision

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Design Your Organisational Vision

Our in-person workshops maximise opportunities for robust conversation, experiential activities and intensive group work. This is no ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience – our facilitators are skilled in presenting and leading immersive experiences that get the most out of people. Supported by multimedia, attractive takeaway pages and practical strategies for using back on the job – our in-person workshops build a formidable bridge between exploration and application. We have a 10 person minimum for an in person workshop.

Our virtual workshops breathe fresh life into the online experience with their almost ‘radio show’ feel. Our expert facilitators use a combination of multimedia, questioning techniques and break out activities to target micro-skills – with a focus on application. Supported by an online platform hosting custom-built workshop materials, participants can be assured of a lively, dynamic session that has a distinct bias to action. We have a 6 person minimum for a virtual workshop.
This audience includes executive leaders who are driving the more visionary and strategic areas of the business. The skills are geared toward building capability in innovation, operationalising strategy and working with ‘middle management’ to cascade information. Leaders must be advanced in their development to truly benefit from working with these skills.

Thinka believes that every learner needs to walk away being able to do something differently once they’ve engaged in a learning solution. The real power is in every individual applying their learning. Our behaviour-based methods, supported by the latest research, are key to making the steps for change relevant and realistic.

Thinka supports with methods like storytelling, experiential activities or rich questioning, but ultimately, we know the integration between solution and real world is the most crucial part of the learning experience. That is why we look for ways to ‘build a bridge’ between the solution we provide and what happens back out on the job.

Whether it’s an application template, a set of strategies, some tips or a ‘how to’ model – we work hard to provide every learner with not just information but the tools they need to make a real difference.