I don’t know the answer really should be a common response that we give if we are challenging ourselves and getting out of our comfort zones. Unfortunately, we don’t often give that response for a few of reasons:
- 1. We are not challenging ourselves, we are playing it safe and all of the answers are familiar and easy.
- 2. We do, what I’m sometimes guilty of and that’s make something up or give our best educated guess.
- 3. As leaders we are not allowing those that we lead to be leader and do their job. We instead are always in the know, in the details, in the weeds and in the business.
Over the years, I have learned to appreciate the fact that I Don’t Know The Answer. As a matter of fact, not knowing the answer can be a sign of health for a leader and a team.
There is one caveat to the “I Don’t Know The Answer!” response. You must have an appropriate follow-up to that response that sounds something like, “I don’t know the answer, but I can direct you to someone who does.”
Do you know all of the answers? Maybe it’s time you take new risks, charter new territory, break new grounds and not have all the answers.
Do you have a question? I may not know the answer but I can direct you to someone who does.
Sometimes the most brilliant answer that one can have is… ”I Don’t Know The Answer!”
Share your thoughts on peoples unwillingness to say, “I don’t have the answer.”