So – you are supposed to be an expert in your field – and should have an answer for everything right? No matter how much you have to fake or how much you are making it up you should give an answer and hope for the best afterward.
Not anymore – the time has come to ditch our aversion to uncertainty. Execs who admit their knowledge gaps not only make better leaders but may also run more successful companies.
The reason has to do with credibility… the internet age has made us more aware of what we don’t know. If you tell your audience “I have all the answers” you’re really saying “I don’t need your help”.
But when you say “I don’t know” what you’re really saying is “I want to hear your idea”. This creates meaningful dialogue and promotes discovery and experimentation.
In the Commercial Real Estate business – saying “I don’t know” should be the norm. A buyer may have questions about a building that we don’t have the answer to. Better be honest and say “I don’t know” but will find out” than try to fake it. You’ll end up looking stupid if the answer provided have to be rectified later on.
So go ahead – say it “I don’t know” you won’t look bad – others will not think less of you. You are human after all!