We are taught that know-it-all’s rule. The more you know (and the less you say you don’t know), the further ahead you can get in life. Right? But what if we were all honest with one another when we didn’t know the answer to a question?
Being in management and in Human Resources for years, I was schooled that I had to have an answer for everything. Not being able to answer an employee’s question was unacceptable. Most of the time, I did know the answer to their questions, but there were other times when I didn’t. I had to “fake it ’til I made it”, meaning I uttered what was probably nonsense and played it off until I was able to get an answer.
We can’t possibly know all of the answers to all of life’s questions. And simply not being able to answer a question by saying “I don’t know” should be enough.
You can even get clever with it. With the advent of Google, virtually anyone can look up the answer to a question. You can answer with “I don’t know….go Google it,” or something to that affect. Make them do the work!
Not knowing the answer to something is not the end of the world. When someone honestly answers me with “I don’t know, but let me find out,”, I feel like I can trust that person. Because an untrustworthy person would just give you any old answer without giving a damn. A person who cares and is authentic will be honest with you and admit that they don’t know. And they would probably be willing to go the extra mile and find out the answer for you.
Maybe if more of us said “I don’t know” when been asked a question we didn’t really have the answer to, their would be a lot less wrong information being passed around. Less rumors, less innuendo, and more honesty.
I don’t have all the answers, nor should I. What weight we hold on our shoulders by trying to know everything. I am now a proud “I don’t knower”! I am no longer afraid!
Are you afraid of saying you don’t know? Are you one of those types of people who just have to have the answer to everything? Speak on it!