And that’s okay!

Early in my career when someone would ask me a question, I didn’t know the answer to – The last thing I wanted to do was say, “I don’t know”. I was young, and female. Did not want people thinking I was incompetent. But I quickly learned to get over that.

Because…

I would end up either talking around the question, or even worst giving wrong information. Which leads to people not coming to you for help, because you’re not helping.

Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you.

Eckhart Tolle

Scenario 1:

(No clue how to answer)

I literally respond with, “I don’t know the answer to that.” “Let me consult with Google, or my team, to see if I can get an answer for you.” And do just that. Then do in fact get back with them.

 

Scenario 2:

(I know who can answer that)

“I’m not sure of the answer off the top of my head, but I know who would be. Let me go chat with them, and then get back to you.” And sometimes I would have the better suited person directly contact the person asking the question.

And in either scenario.

I always get a “thank you”, “I appreciate the help”, “that’s why I come to you”, etc. Can’t say I have ever had a negative response to saying, “I don’t know”.

Because bottom line, you may not have known the answer off top, but you still delivered the correct answer or solution. And that’s what matters, the whole point of the question in the first place. To get help reaching a resolution.

The real follow up.

I make note of what the answer or solution ended up being. So that way it’s no longer a question I don’t know the answer to.