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What's your level of certainty?

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Anthony Pica
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What's your level of certainty?

When problem-solving, I like to hear everyone's ideas. And I want the best idea to win.

But sometimes the most convincing person is not the one with the best judgment.

So how do we decide what the best idea is?

I've started asking, "what is your level of certainty?" I ask my teammates. And I ask myself. This question is a way to transform an intuitive thought into a kind of objective analysis.

Two Examples:

  • It's one thing for me to believe "bitcoin is the future of money." It's more tangible if I claim "I'm 80% certain bitcoin will be the top-performing asset of the next five decades." It forces me to assign a degree of confidence, which I can consider in my risk assessment.
  • If my teammate wants to make a $50K investment in a new product marketing strategy, I'll listen to their reasoning and ask how certain they are it's the best way to spend the money. It forces them to confirm their belief by quantifying it. If they reply, "I'm 75% certain we should do this," it gives me a concrete picture of how much they trust their reasoning.

Our level of certainty should be open to change. As we learn new facts, see other perspectives, and encounter more evidence, our level of certainty should adjust accordingly.

I'm 93% certain that open-mindedness is an essential quality in a teammate.

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