What if ….Uncertainty Were a Skill to Master Versus a Problem to Fix?

Companies in the midst of change have a demand for employees who can adapt to and drive change.


Today’s companies are reshaping their organizations. Media articles bombard us daily about how many jobs are in the crosshairs of technology and are evaporating due to creative destruction. Gone are the stable workplaces that existed prior to globalization.

Uncertainty, when viewed through the lens of stability, needs to be fixed. However, when viewed through the lens of shaping the business for the future, uncertainty becomes a skill set to master.

Think about that for a minute…..uncertainty is a force, and you can let it wear you down as you try to hang on, or you could become skillful at handling uncertainty. It would mean taking risks, handling situations you haven’t seen before, being unafraid to tackle problems with limited knowledge, communicating extensively and learning on the fly.

What adds more value, hanging on or adapting and problem-solving?

At the end of the day, is it better to be tired from frustration or challenge?

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If reshaping business is the way of the future, becoming skillful at handling uncertainty would enable you to create earning security because it is a skill set every changing company requires.


 If you have a team where redefining uncertainty would be of interest, let’s discuss your situation. Contact me judi@habitinterpreter.com or 416.761.1533

Photo: DepositPhotos

Why Are Habits a Hot Topic?

Whenever something is a hot topic, you know there’s money to be made.


It’s an endless buffet of ‘advice for a price’. There are currently over 7,000 books on habits. People are selling happiness, an end to self-doubt, ways to eliminate procrastination or increase sticking to priorities. You can even learn the habits that will enable you to live comfortably on a four hour work week.

One of the main reasons is that embedded into the seller’s journey is Habit Forming Technology. Similar to how the salt and sugar in our food chain make it very difficult to put down chips or chocolate, companies are capable of hooking millions of people into taking action. The steps are simple and seem benign initially, but the stakes are guaranteed to escalate over time. Those companies want your attention and eventually your money.

Anyone with an electronic device has experienced being hooked. It may be free for now but not for long. Like everything, there is an upside and a downside. What’s important is that you’re aware of being deliberately hooked.

 Photo: DepositPhotos

How To Cope When Your Role Changes?

In a Toronto Star article, Feb 2014, Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper acknowledged the role of the realtor is changing.  “One of the key things I tell our people is that your role is not to be a house finder. That was a 1990s job. Today’s consumers grew up on Google — no one is more excited about finding a house in a particular neighbourhood than they are.

“What they need you to be is an interpreter of data, a consultant, an adviser and a professional negotiator who ensures that not just the price, but the terms and conditions of this complex deal are well managed. That’s where all our focus should be.”

Maze What Now?

This perspective applies to many other areas of our personal and professional lives. Informed consumers have reams of research and endless advice tips on what to do about their particular situation.

However, as we adapt to a relentless pace of change, there are times when our strengths get squeezed and we begin to struggle.

  • If you’re a decisive person and now find making a decision difficult, it’s perplexing.
  • If you’re a socialiser and the additional demands on your time leave little time for yourself let alone others, it can be draining.
  • If you’ve always been optimistic and find that your confidence is waning, it can be off putting.

How do you move through the struggle in a way that fits your distinctive situation?  Perhaps the comments like “Just Do It!”  or “Believe in Yourself!” inspired you for a few days but not through the struggle zone. That is where interpretation of your perceptions and insights can make a difference.

Interpretation mines your current situation and considers the dots you have to connect to find a path that fits. It is a situation to be faced, dealt with and learned from. Learning your way through these struggle zones contributes to personal and professional growth.

Times have changed; it is important to update how you can cope. Outdated thinking and behavior will keep you struggling.  It is important to tap into the unique data revealed by your current situation and see it through multiple lenses so you can update your coping skills.

Judi Walsh is The Habit Interpreter. She has extensive experience helping intelligent individuals crack the code of their behaviors. With so much personal and professional change, it means making alternate choices and decisions to suit your phase and stage of life. Identifying what to do and determining how to put new behaviors into practice can be challenging. She uses unique processes to extract insights to unlock your adaptability.
Photo: DepositPhotos

A Marketing Message with Heart


I am not a whiskey drinker. Nor have I ever heard of Bell’s Whiskey. But I admit I’d buy their brand based on the message that I have only seen three times.

The message is memorable. Plus I have told others and/or sent a link. I love the fact it is only two minutes in duration. Only the first 3 seconds and last 8 seconds give any indication of the brand; the rest is an excellent story.

Occasionally a message comes along worth paying attention to because it shares a story that touches our heart. It is long on message short on advertising.

It is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy a two minute break.

Daily we are bombarded with marketing messages. They come in various forms. Repetitive marketing messages are based on old assumptions that if you see an ad often enough you will be inspired to buy. Research in the past 25 years has revealed these marketing assumptions to be ineffective. But repetition is still practiced.

Repetition doesn’t work. Neale Martin, author of Habit: 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore explains why. He points to research that revealed we are equipped with dual processors the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind talks on a cell phone while the unconscious mind drives. These two minds are often referred to as the executive mind and the habitual mind.

The executive mind is where we consciously store and retrieve memories, create intentional thought and logically solve problems. The executive mind can think about both the past and the future. The habitual mind handles a vast array of functions, from regulating our heartbeat and body temperature to storing thousands of responses to previously learned behaviors. The habitual mind is guided by the past but lives in the present.

I’ll be glad when marketers accept that we don’t need to be bombarded with repetition to get the message. A few more quality messages like this video would be a welcome respite.

Perspective’s Role in Handling Challenges

This tribute to Nelson Mandela illustrates how minor shifts in perspective can alter your point of view.

What’s behind the artwork Fifty rods of steel, symbolizing prison bars, so people will never forget the years Mandela was imprisoned. The remarkable thing about this artwork is that it is only when you stand at a certain distance (which is marked) that you see him.


Perspective__1Mandela Perspective__2Mandela Perspective__3Mandela Perspective__4Mandela

Perspective has a significant role in handling challenges For instance, if you’ve had a serious disagreement with a colleague over a joint project,  your perspective may be draining your energy. In relationship dynamics, most of us bring a point of view to the conversation and it’s perplexing when the other person doesn’t see things in a similar way. That alignment you started with has dissipated into a serious divide of aims, values and responsibilities.  She’s ranting that you aren’t keeping your end of the bargain while your view is that she’s changing what she committed to. You may walk away feeling misunderstood,  disrespected or defensive.

What’s real and what’s perception? Perspective is how you see things and shapes your thoughts, feelings, actions and what you say. Frequently we’re advised to step back and look at things another way.  A different angle can shift perspective. When it comes to interpersonal interactions, what is far better is to have a behavior framework to interpret perplexing dynamics.

A framework enables you to rise above your gut reactions, find the presence of mind to be curious and use language the other person can ‘hear’. As a result, the new data gets you closer to clarity and the approach that engages.

As the picture illustrates, distance shifts perspective.  Some problems require more than distance.  When what you do relies on working with and through others, learning a behavior framework can be valuable to have in your toolkit.

Adapting Habits: Who Has the Answers – Google or You?

When change is staring us in the face, most of us understand that we will need to do things differently. But adapting behavior can range from very simple to extremely difficult. Though we understand the reason for adapting – putting a change into practice can be a bigger challenge than we envisioned.

The reasons for resisting can be obvious or obscure. Your resistance may be easy to ignore, or you may find it to be perplexing. You may have an intense desire to do things differently yet find yourself powerless when it comes to taking action. And if you are used to accomplishing, that’s very frustrating.

Have you ever had a situation where your effectiveness and execution were stalled? You knew you needed to move ahead but couldn’t. It didn’t make sense, since you are usually clear and decisive. It’s because each of us has a unique code for why we do what we do.

Imagine finding a closed padlock you haven’t used in awhile. You wonder what the code is and try many variations with no luck. It remains locked and out of commission.

Why is it when you pose a question to Google it displays a plethora of answers? But when it comes to your behavior, only you possess the code that will unlock things. Google could give you advice, but the reasons why adapting is difficult in this particular situation are inside you.   It takes insight to turn awareness into action.

How can you crack your code? It takes a skilled interpreter to connect the information and insights unique to you. Having your habit interpreted can release useful data to reduce any perplexing aspects hindering you from taking action.

How do you determine if a habit interpreter is required? Well, here are three clues that indicate you may need an interpreter.

1) Whenever you hear yourself saying “There’s gotta be a better way”. Especially when it is unclear what that better way is for you. Or,

2) You have found the perfect off the shelf solution in a book or article, and it worked well for a few weeks then you stopped using it, and you don’t know why. Or,

3) The 21 day program sounded terrific but you barely lasted a week.

Does any of these sound familiar?  If you can’t get your answer from Google, you may want to try a session with The Habit Interpreter.


Judi Walsh is The Habit Interpreter. She has extensive experience helping intelligent individuals crack the code of their behaviors. With so much personal and professional change, it means making alternate choices and decisions to suit your phase and stage of life. Identifying what to do and determining how to put new behaviors into practice can be challenging. She uses unique processes to extract insights to unlock your adaptability.