Don’t Know? There’s a lot of power in that.
Are you an expert? It feels good to have the answers, but it can also feel good when we don’t.
When we’re young they tell us that, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” is a good answer. But I guess there’s a “use by date” on that. Because eventually we decide, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” isn’t in our best interest.
But gosh, it is. Consider what we could be when we’re free to admit we don’t know.
In “don’t know, but will find out” is the chance to become a resource to others. They could have Googled it, too. They didn’t they came to you. You get answers. You solve problems.
In “don’t know, but I know someone who does” lives the person with a good network. They don’t know the people you know, but you can put people together. You’re a connector.
In “don’t know, but let’s figure it out together” we play nice with others. As mentor, we show that it’s okay to not fake expertise and that it’s good to keep learning. We’re also showing that we can share credit with others. What we come up with together will have two champions. Whether a mentor or a collaborator, you’re more.
In “don’t know” is honesty. Which makes us more credible as any of the possible “who we could be” above.
Don’t know? Be okay with that (for now).