3 Situations Where It's Ok To Say, "I Don't Know." - Astute Communications

Here at Astute Communications, we work as a pretty tight-knit team. In small group environments, the importance of communication becomes clear right off the bat. We regularly try different methods, software or tools to help with communication, but what we always try to keep in place is true face-to-face strategy sessions. During these sessions, which are similar to the whiteboarding sessions of our designers, we talk about how our current strategy is going across venues, from social media to blog post entries. When something isn’t working or changing social media trends need to be addressed, it is so important to be upfront and vocal in order to stay ahead. Here are 3 situations where the words, I don’t know, can actually be beneficial to the group’s progress:

  1. Facebook changes its algorithm. Of course. Again. Facebook is always changing things up for marketers, but to be honest they aren’t the only ones. Google, LinkedIn, and different social media monitoring software are all changing on a consistent basis. Being the social media manager, it is up to me to be abreast of these trends. Do I miss some of them? Sure I do. Instead of acting like I know what I’m talking about, I find that admitting “I don’t know” can lead to group collaboration, insights from my boss, or can even create a learning experience for someone else in the group.
  2. Making changes to your WordPress Site. For us non-coding types, WordPress is not always a walk in the park. I have become somewhat savvy over the years, but am by no means a designer or developer. Instead of going in and putting our website at risk, admitting I don’t know what I’m doing in the middle of loading content or switching an image can be immensely important to the production of the rest of the group. If our website goes down, resources have to be shifted and attention can be stolen from important projects.
  3. Choosing Software. I love allowing software to do my job for me. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t! But in a world where there are many different software options to choose from, it is likely that you will not pick the perfect one on the first try. When I first started working with Astute Communications we researched a lot of different social media monitoring software tools. I have used several of them in the past but my honest answer was that I didn’t know which one was going to be the best fit for this company. Because of that we researched and has trial and error periods that may not have happened had I not opened the door to comparisons across the board.

To clarify, I am not suggesting that it is always a good idea to tell your boss you don’t know the answer to something. Always make sure when saying you don’t know the answer it is genuine and you follow up with an action to find the answer, or learn from the uncertainty. Most importantly, never close your mind to education. Instead of panicking next time you are called out and not sure of the correct response, try to flip the situation around into a beneficial experience for your whole team.