You’re speaking publicly, you are prepared, and you are about to finish. The feeling of excitement and accomplishment lingers in your stomach as you feel successful. “You’ve done a good job!” you might think to yourself. Now, it’s time for questions. You know all the answers. Then, someone asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to… What do you do?
Have you ever been in this situation? Honestly, I have and it hurts my pride. However, I have learned that it is so much better as a communications professional to say the simple words “I don’t know.”
Why is that hard to learn?—The fear of seeming incompetent and vulnerable can threaten any communicator or leader. Regardless, something happens when we admit to not know everything, when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable; we become human, relatable, welcoming, and humble.
“Authenticity isn’t something you have. It’s something you choose,” – Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations.
I write this, not that I am an expert in humility and authenticity, but simply to remind myself as I write and read this.