Share what you know, shout about what you don’t.

One of the best skills to have in any profession, is the ability to say “I don’t know”. The default perception might be that not knowing something is a sign of inexperience or even stupidity (“why does everyone seem to know this when I didn’t?”). Have you ever responded “that rings a bell…” when you know you have absolutely no idea about something? I do it all the time but it’s time to stop.

Taking it further, I see many people glaze over knowledge gaps and try to make up for it with forced opinion or trying to dismiss something’s importance or value.

It’s too complicated to explain what I mean.

Well that’s not important, what matters is…

That’s not a good solution, we should do this instead.

Are typical responses used when

That sounds interesting, but I’m not sure I understand fully.

Would be a much better response to the situation.

There is a seemingly a subconscious expectation for everyone to be an expert at everything. This is quite obviously bullshit and we should recognise and acknowledge that fact. If you’re feeling judged by what you may or may not know, it’s likely just paranoia. If you actually are being judged, then you’re probably dealing with someone with even less self confidence who’s trying to prove something to themselves. Move on.

By identifying the things we do not understand, being prepared to say “I don’t know” and not putting pressure on ourselves to be seen as all-knowing, we open ourselves to learning opportunities and to actually improve our expertise.

Make an effort today to be mindful of what you don’t know, be open about the fact and consider what you might be able to do about it.

Let me know how you get on via Twitter.

#adventblogging post 2 of 24 see the rest.