I don’t know.
These are three words that everyone wants to stay away from. Admitting that you don’t know something is like admitting defeat and that is the last thing that managers and salespeople alike would want to do. However, the belief that admitting ignorance is bad is absolutely wrong.
There is actually no harm in admitting that you don’t know something. It is a lot better than lying or acting as if you know or understand something. When you admit ignorance, you acknowledge the fact that no one is perfect and that there is always something more to learn. This is what will boost your credibility immediately.
When people hear you admit, they will actually appreciate it. Hence you should get the notion that you will come across as absolutely ignorant out of your system. The main reason why people fear accepting not knowing something is that they feel they will be deemed stupid or that they will be judged wrongly. All these are misconceptions that will lead you away from the truth. The truth is that when you accept ignorance you actually let people know that you are a truthful person and that you do not lie in order for people to believe you and for you to stay on their good side.
Staying truthful and saying that you don’t know something shows that you are a man [or woman] of your words and that you are trustworthy. However, you shouldn’t forget that simply accepting it and forgetting about wouldn’t be good. Once you accept it, you should also promise that you would learn about the issue/topic/problem and get back to the person as soon as possible. A lot will depend on whether you live up to your words and deliver what you promised. You will be judged accordingly.
Remember that people hate people who act like they know everything. People around you are very smart and will easily be able to identify lies. Ergo, there is no point or no use of lying to people and acting as if there is nothing in the world that you are not aware of. Accept mistakes and don’t try to be a know-it-all. You will be much appreciated and your credibility will get a much-needed boost.
Don’t be hesitant to admit that you are not aware of something. The words ‘I don’t know’ will actually work in your favor because they show that you are among those very few people who accept ignorance and are willing to learn more.