Industry Analyst & Strategist

I Don’t Know

Sometime the writer’s block hits hard, and all the content you digest doesn’t create a theme, so I’m left with today thinking about what I don’t know, and what that means.

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Saying “I don’t know” can be indicative of a number of things, when someone answers with “I don’t know” to a question of mine they generate some specific areas to probe:

  1. “I don’t know means I don’t care,” this can be because the topic of the question is really not within an idividual’s worldview, so we get “I don’t care.” But worse, if they should have some opinion or thought on the matter, given their industry expertise, we get “I’m lazy.” It’s harsh but there are plenty of people who don’t knowbecause they don’t want to be informed.
  2. “I don’t know because I’m missing words” scenario is a bit different, they may darn well know, but communicating the opinion, fact, or thought is something they are not normally asked to do. There are very many smart and engaged folks who run into this roadblock. The best way to improve this is by taking the risk of getting out there. It’s not easy but “appearances” matter. More from PyschCentral.
  3. “I don’t know because you shouldn’t know” is a completely different world, information is valuable and there certainly is knowledge hoard for personal, profession, or regulatory reasons. How do you solve for this? Ask around the direct question, if they don’t know something, they certainly know something else. It’s like a doughnut, there may be a hole in the middle but there’s plenty of goodness around it.
  4. “I don’t know… yet.”(Courtesy of Bet Hannon at AccessiCart)

Don’t assume the worst in “I don’t know” answers, take the time as questioner or answerer to recognize the above and work with it.

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