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Sunday, November 4, 2007

I don’t know, but…

In working life, we used to be asked lots of questions by our managers, colleagues, customers and also suppliers. Some of those questions might be straight forward and we could give the answers straight forward. But, what if the questions are those which you have totally no idea what are the answers should be.

So, how do you answer?

The most common answer I frequently heard is, “Sorry, I don’t know.” Period.

Imagine you are the questioner. What do you feel when you get this kind of answer? Definitely, you’ll feel disappointed, wouldn’t you?

And now, imagine that you are the one who had to give such an answer. How do you feel? Don’t you feel bad? It may have given the impression to the questioner that you know nothing much.

When I started working with a western company, I realised something is different in the way they give the answer for a question which they do not know the answer.

“Sorry, I don’t know. But, I will find the answer for you.”


“I don’t know, but I know someone who does know the answer to your question.”

To some, this may not have any significant difference at all. But for me, there’s a huge different between saying only “I don’t know” and saying “I don’t know, but…”

Previously, I used to only say I don’t know this I don’t know that. My answers ended there. It made me feels like I’m not professional enough for my job. It made me looks stupid.

However, after I changed the way I answer, I feel more positive as well as it gives me extra push to be more proactive in work. As a human being, it is impossible for us to know everything in the world at one single point of time. But, God gave us such a brain that can absorb lots of things, depending on how much effort you put to feed your brain. We also have plenty of friends or colleagues who may know the answers that we don’t. Why hesitate to ask?

We shouldn't stop ourself when we can always go further to find the answers.

Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits!

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