There was a small mention in last week’s post on corporate amnesia about introducing information with a degree of uncertainty. While this was recommended as a way to help others “remember” events while saving face, being a little uncertain can benefit creative thinking as well.
I regularly interact with someone who delivers points of view and information with an air of incredible certainty. The trouble is, after doing some fact checking, I’ve discovered numerous instances where the very certain information delivered to me is incorrect or at least tinged with some degree of error.
But try successfully offering correction to someone when the individual is completely certain of very wrong beliefs. It’s easy for it to go very wrong.
While there’s value to projecting a confident, certain air in business, don’t go so overboard that you don’t give others a chance to input, build on, modify, and yes, even correct your beliefs when your beliefs are wrong.
Don’t box yourself in to the personal challenge of not being able to think new and differently when you’re convinced your world view and creative thinking is completely certain. The “white space” an openness to correction and learning provides is fundamental to strong creative thinking AND strategic thinking skills.
Perhaps comedian Dennis Miller found the best balance for certainty and openness in the rants he’d do on his old HBO talk show. After several minutes of blistering comedic invective toward whatever was bugging him currently, each rant would end with Dennis Miller saying, “Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.” - Mike Brown
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