I'm starting a new series on the blog this month. Whether you run a business or are an employee, these nine phrases will come across as inexperienced, timid, or unsure. I'm going to take them one at a time. Here is the first phrase that will make you sound less experienced.
1. 'I don’t know'
Nobody expects you to have all the answers all the time, but answering your co-workers’ questions with "I don’t know" and a deer in the headlights look can make you appear as if you are not able to do your job.
It isn't what you say most of the time; it's how you say it. Here's a better answer:
"I don't have that information right off the top of my head, but I'll check the database and email you in about an hour."
Nobody expects you to have all the answers at the ready, but they do expect that you will get it to them in short order if it's important.
"Hmm...I know I emailed the report to you on Friday afternoon about 2 pm. I have it in my sent file. I'll just resend it right now."
Your boss or coworker doesn't need you to know as much as he or she needs you to fix the problem. This makes you sound more authoritative and confident.
I don't know isn't an informative answer nor does it pose a solution to the problem, but sharing what you can do is always a better answer.
Stay tuned for part two coming next month!