Confessing that we don’t know something is much harder than it seems, but reluctance to admitting a lack of knowledge is not uncommon either.
White lies escape from our mouths before we even realise we are sidestepping the truth, all because we fear looking foolish or inferior to our peers who are asking the questions.
But accepting ourselves as being fallible at times is exactly what keeps us free from the anxiety we face of being exposed as ignorant, so how do we admit uncertainty, and when? Our madison
cheat sheet is here to help. When to ‘fess up:
On a first date
It’s a situation where both parties involved are judging the other to gauge compatibility, and simultaneously, hoping to impress. This want for positive attention often creates the perfect opportunity to exaggerate the truth just a little… or at least we think at the time. Author of Business Etiquette, Patsy Rowe, says that pretending you’re a know it all is actually a disservice. “Fast forward a few months and your partner may start to doubt who is the real you,” she cautions. Job interview
It’s the job you have dreamed of having for years, and you’re pretty sure that the countless visions you have had of this interview have got you prepared, until the one question your thought would never be asked (and truthfully, you don’t know the answer) is thrown at you. Surely a small lie won’t go unnoticed? Well, according to Rowe, honesty in a formal process such as a job interview can actually work to your advantage. “But remember to always point out that you’re eager to build your skills and show you’re conscientious,” both appealing qualities to an employer, she says. Work presentation
Ok, so you’ve got the job and all is going well, but you’re struggling to think of a new take on the upcoming presentation for your project. Admitting you don’t know something at work is a win-win, according to Rowe. “You give the ‘helper’ the opportunity to feel good about teaching you, and you learn something new,” she says. How to admit uncertainty- out loud:
“I’m not 100 per cent across that. Can we go through it together?” 2.
“Can you run through that again? I want to get it right.” 3.
“I’m really keen to do that, but to be honest, I haven’t had much training. What can I do to find out more?” Related content
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