Creative LeadershipCreativityEngaging Culture

Don’t Be Afraid to Say, “I Don’t Know”

Way too often in modern business, competition makes us feel that we can’t ask for help.  We think it will show weakness, and as a result, we lie.  We try to make everyone think we can handle everything, when the truth is, we have lots of questions.

Here’s my take:  Insecure people are terrified that people around them will think they don’t know what they’re doing.  But people who are secure, have the confidence to ask for help.  As a result, they find answers and move ahead of everyone else.

Let’s do something this week.  Make a concerted effort to admit that you don’t know.  Ask for help.  For some of you, it will be tough – maybe horrifying.  But the truth is, the people around you aren’t out to destroy you.  Once they realize you’re honest and vulnerable, they’re more than willing to help you find the answers.

Don’t cut yourself off from the help of the people around you.  Start admitting that you don’t know all the answers, and see what happens.  I have a feeling you’ll be amazed at what happens.

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  1. Phil, great message. Asking for help is one area I am working on. I’m starting to understand that asking for help is not a weakness, but a sign of strength. It takes a strong person to admit they need help. Also, it gives a person the chance to network and connect with others who are more talented in areas you might not realize, and able to bring to the table their skills and talents. By not asking for help, one can limit themselves and hinder the work or goals they’re trying to acheive.

  2. I recently started a new job. In my new position there have been lots of questions asked of me from day one, questions I had no answers to but needed to find them. I needed help from those under, lateral and above me to find the answers. I needed them to help me help them. In my pursuit, I made connections that have resulted in multiple team players already, and the beginnings of trust and unity on all 3 levels. Everyone wants to know they are needed by the team so they can win the game together. Saying, “I don’t know” affords one the opportunity to find out what they don’t know and build positive working relationships at the same time.

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