Go ahead, say it: ‘I don’t know’

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

When was the last time you admitted you didn’t know something?

IDK—I don’t know—is big in texting but not so big among executives.

The next time you do not have an answer for something, say, “I don’t know,” and then smile pleasantly or sheepishly, and wait for a response.

Do this as often as possible and see what happens. Your questioners may turn out to have answers. They may say, “I’ll find out.” They may ask who else they might turn to. They may offer a solution.

By admitting that you don’t know, you demonstrate that you’re human. It helps break down barriers and build ties. It also gives your people an opening to be creative and solve problems.

— Adapted from The DNA of Leadership, Judith E. Glaser, Platinum Press.

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