It’s Okay to Say “I Don’t Know”
I was reading through Eric Friedman’s Marketing.fm blog on the intersection of marketing and technology when I saw his blog post, “I Don’t Know.” I paused and pondered this. Such a simple phrase. It can be embarrassing and denotes uncertainty but you know what, it’s authentic.
I’ve been asked tough questions professionally and personally, when the person expects an answer. I usually rack my brain but sometimes, I just don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer.
Eric says, “saying I don’t know can be one of the smartest, empowering, and most liberating things you can say…I have seen people stumble through a bad answer or try to piece together a coherent thought when the clear answer to a question should be I don’t know.”
I will be honest, I have pride. Although I don’t think I have an answer for everything, when someone takes the time to ask me a question, I know they have put a level of trust in me and I want to answer it properly. I will say this, however, I never bullshit an answer. I know it or I think about it and answer to the best of my ability–but if I can’t, I say I don’t know. It doesn’t make me weak or helpless. I agree with Eric and believe that, “it is harder to say, ‘I don’t know’ as it takes a tough person to admit that.”
Do you think resorting to an honest answer, even if it’s a let down to say “I don’t know,” takes strength? How often do you find yourself saying, I don’t know?