I guess the good news is the office is still in operation. Actually, things are still fine here and I think Donna had a pretty nice vacation. Her absence, however, got me thinking. What do you do when you don’t know? We all have customers and colleagues, even family, who ask questions of us. Sometimes we know those answers, sometimes we don’t. For me anyway, especially regarding questions asked by my children, they have known for a long time that their dad can be dumb as a box of rocks. No shock and no surprise. The perception of my infallibility with my kids was cleared up a long, long… one more long… time ago.
I have always found that most people are very understanding when you don’t know the answer to a question. Saying “I don’t know” can often give you more credibility and respect than immediately giving the correct answer. The critical piece of “I don’t know” is supplying the answer in a timely manner. I always say a smart person does not know all the answers, but knows where to find the correct answers.
Responding quickly to a question by simply saying “I don’t know, but I will find out” and then diligently following through to provide the information is customer service at its finest. Don’t be ashamed to admit you don’t know the answer. The only thing to be ashamed of is not diligently and systematically working to provide the response.