In today’s business world, it’s often seen as a weakness to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t have an opinion on that.” But the truth is, admitting that you don’t have all the answers can actually be a sign of integrity and self-confidence. It shows that you’re willing to learn and humble enough to admit when you need help.
Saying “I Don’t Know” in Practice
Whether you’re in a meeting or presenting to clients, it can feel like there’s no room for uncertainty. However, admitting that you don’t know shows that you’re willing to be honest, and transparent, and it can create an opportunity for open dialogue.
For example, let’s say you’re in a meeting and someone asks you for your opinion on a new case. If you’re unsure what to say, you can simply respond with, “I don’t know. I need more information before I can give a well-informed answer.”
This answer shows that you’re not afraid to admit when you’re not ready to reply, and it also opens up the floor for further discussion. Here, saying “I don’t know” is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Avoid Being a Know-It-All
Saying “I don’t know” can also help to build trust and credibility with your team. If you’re always claiming to have the answers, people will eventually start to see you as a know-it-all who is out of touch with reality.
On the other hand, if you’re open about the fact that you don’t know everything, people will be more likely to trust your judgment and listen to your advice. So, in the long run, saying “I don’t know” is good for your practice.
“I don’t know” or “I’m not sure I have an opinion on that” are perfectly acceptable answers.
In a time when a lot of hot air is blown in every direction, save yourself and others the unnecessary waste of mental energy and pass on some opportunities to opine. As a result, people will listen more intently to you on the subjects you do know a thing or two about.