The aftermath of yesterday’s flood won’t just leave behind water-soaked boxes and soggy possessions; what will linger after everything has dried is doubt. I know already that there will come a day when I am looking for something and I will wonder: “Is it here somewhere or did it get thrown out in the flood?”

Experience has shown me that doubt is a great energy drain. I have some files upstairs in my office and some in the basement, and I find myself too easily giving up the hunt for something because I believe it is in the other location. This necessitates a search in the second place, only to have me return with more diligence to find the item where I thought it was initially. Had there not been doubt, I would have persisted and found it in far less time. Doubt also happens whenever I do a serious purging, when I travel or when I do anything to disrupt the natural order of my routines.

Whenever you have a plausible scapegoat – whether that be a person, a place or any multitude of options – our natural tendency is to jump on doubt as the default response. Strive to minimize the opportunities for doubt to creep into your organization. Doubt-busting examples could include: specify one person responsible for a project so there is no question who needs to do that task; have designated spots for key items so people can tell at a glance whether something is available or not, and keep records and documentation to add clarity to decisions.

Your time is better spent on something besides futile wondering.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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