The Art of Not Knowing

This post was originally published on this site

This is prepended content.

The fear of saying “I don’t know” started long ago. In the past, a person’s ability to gain employment was based on their depth of knowledge and aptitude at a particular trade.[1] Workers received intense training and usually performed an apprenticeship before they were considered a “professional” and respected as such. Saying the words, “I don’t know” was an indictment of incompetence.

But the work landscape has changed.

In today’s workforce, having in depth expertise is less valuable and has become a distant second behind potential. A person’s potential and capacity to learn is more important and far more valuable than encyclopedic knowledge on a particular topic.

The Beauty of Not Knowing

The birth of the internet created a huge shift in the information paradigm. Now, information, data and knowledge are literally at your finger tips. The impact of the information sharing on every level and subject, which is readily available 24/7, is a remarkably wonderful double-edged sword.

Things that were privy only to certain people and shared within closed circles is now accessible to all. If you want to know —you can.

The amount and magnitude of information available is overwhelming and incomprehensible. It has become almost impossible to be a true “subject matter expert.” The paradox is that both everyone and no one is an expert.

The shift in information sharing has also impacted workplace norms. Where it used to be frowned upon and taboo to use the words, “I don’t know” in a professional environment, it now has become acceptable and expected. Today people are hired based on their ability to process information not to memorize it — which is a far more remarkable and better use of the brain.

Our brains have gone from being storage containers to multifaceted microprocessors. Your ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, apply and create new information is your most attractive attribute — not your current knowledge base.[2]

Embracing “I Don’t Know”

The quicker you embrace the fact that you don’t know everything about anything, the better off you and those around you will be. You will unburden yourself of undue stress at work and you shift your brain into a continuous state of learning.

The value in embracing and saying “I don’t know” lets you off the hook and helps reduce all of the misinformation pervading our information system. The truth is, your boss doesn’t care whether or not you can produce information on the spot, he or she is more interested in whether or not you can find the correct information quickly and apply it properly.

Chasing “I don’t know,” with “but I’ll get back to you shortly,” is the recipe for continued growth, humility, and opportunities.

How to Know What You Don’t Know

Now that you understand now knowing everything is totally okay in the workplace, it’s time to understand how to complete the process and close the loop. Not knowing is acceptable; but failure to rectify the knowledge gap is not.

Find out What’s Missing

The first step (after admitting your ignorance on the subject) is to ensure that you understand exactly what information you are being asked to provide.

Nothing is worse than misunderstanding what it is the other person needs and chasing your tail down rabbit holes. Make sure what information you are being asked to gather and synthesize and then find out how it should be presented. This is a simple yet critical first step.

Think Through What You’ve Got

Now comes the part of the process where you gather the necessary information.

Ensure your sources are reliable. Read the information and then put it into two categories: What you know and understand and What you need to know or need to clarify further.

Make a list of concepts that you need to research more in depth. Clearly defining and assessing the information is the first step in critical thinking.

Fill in Knowledge Gaps

Focus your energy on researching the things you don’t know or can’t articulate clearly.

Always work from authoritative and well-known research. Use information from industry experts. Start from an original source such as a research study and then work your way out.

Read the abstract first, then find easier to read blogs, articles, books and videos that are based on this founding research. This will help you understand if the secondary sources are accurate. This will not only assist you in understanding the information but reading “lighter” materials also assists you with finding the vocabulary and other tools (charts, graphs, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc.) that can help you accurately explain the concepts.

Suggest Actions

Once you have and understand the information, create a plan of action.

Your course of action depends on the initial request. If you are being asked to present the information for knowledge only purposes, plan your presentation method accordingly.

If you are being asked to provide a solution or recommend a course of action based on your findings, be sure to use a structured research approach such as the “Five Why’s”. Using a structured research method will assist you in making a logical and researched based decision that has passed multiple tests. It also will assist in catching and mitigating flawed logic which is inherent to any decision making process.

Discuss and Brainstorm

Once you’ve identified a few possible solutions using a systematic approach, talk through your research findings and thought process with someone else — your boss or trusted co-worker. Together you can brainstorm potential solutions or assist each other in finding creative and innovative solutions to the issue.

No matter how thorough you are during your research process, you should always seek the input of others. The only perspective you have — regardless of how much research you do is–yours. Seeking the counsel of others broadens your perspective.

Making “I Don’t Know” Palatable

If saying the words “I don’t know” makes you cringe, here are a few alternatives:

  • “I don’t have a concrete solution at the moment. Let me gather some information and I’ll get back to you.”
  • “I don’t want to make a hasty decision that we may regret, please give me a few hours to look into this.”
  • “This particular situation may warrant a different course of action, I’ll do some research and get back to you by the end of the day.”

These are just examples— modify to fit your communication style and situation. The thing to note is that in each example you make it clear that:

  • You don’t have an answer.
  • You are going to research the topic/possible solutions.
  • You provide an appropriate time frame in which you will provide the information/suggested solution.

This approach allows your boss and colleagues to know that you understand the importance of the issue. It also lets them know that you are reliable and are going to work to find the best possible solution in lieu of handing them a half-baked, under-thought remedy which may do more harm than good. In the end, you actually walk away looking more competent, caring and committed than had you been able to provide an answer immediately.

Not Knowing Doesn’t Make You Impotent

“I don’t know” is a legitimate, acceptable and more importantly— responsible response when you don’t know an answer.

Your credibility doesn’t lie in your ability to provide encyclopedic knowledge on demand. We have the internet for that.

Instead, your credibility lies in your ability to track down, research and synthesize information and provide that information in the proper format to the proper people.

Reference

Also See: The Cancer Hacker’s Top 100 Websites and More Information

The post The Art of Not Knowing appeared first on Lifehack.

© 2017, External_Author. All rights reserved.

About External_Author 31 Articles
When an author is not listed or imported into a curated cancer news story, the author is listed as, External_Author. Please see the original source of the article linked under the title for further information on the author.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Website Use Agreement

This post was originally published on this site

This is prepended content.

.async-hide { opacity: 0 !important}

(function(a,s,y,n,c,h,i,d,e){s.className+=' '+y;h.start=1*new Date; h.end=i=function(){s.className=s.className.replace(RegExp(' ?'+y),'')}; (a[n]=a[n]||[]).hide=h;setTimeout(function(){i();h.end=null},c);h.timeout=c; })(window,document.documentElement,'async-hide','dataLayer',4000, {'GTM-TSRMXV3':true});
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-81618087-1', 'auto'); ga('require', 'GTM-TSRMXV3'); ga('send', 'pageview');

See Comments Policy Below

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

NOTICE. The Cancer News and Blog site (the “website”) is made up of many web pages and posts. The website is offered to you based on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein (the “Website Use Agreement”). Your use of the website constitutes your agreement to all the terms and conditions stated herein.

PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL USE LIMITATION. This website is for your personal and non-commercial use. You may not modify, copy, distribute, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, re-transmit, or sell any information, software, products or services obtained from the website. You may not use any computerized or automatic mechanism to access, extract and/or download any information from the website.

LINKS TO THIRD PARTY SITES. The website may contain links to websites controlled or offered by third parties. Cancer News and Blog disclaims liability for any information, materials, products or services posted or offered at any of the third party sites linked from the website. By creating a link to a third party website, Cancer News and Blog does not endorse or recommend any products or services offered or information contained at such linked website(s), nor is Cancer News and Blog liable for any failure of any products, information or services offered or advertised at such linked website(s).

NO UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED USE. As a condition for your use of the website, you agree that you will not use the website for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by the Website Use Agreement or Privacy Policy. The website is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. You may not use the website in any manner which could damage, disable, overburden or impair the website, the networks connected to the website, or interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the website. You may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the website, other accounts, computer systems or networks connected to the website by any means, including without limitation, hacking or password mining. You may not obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available through the website.

MATERIALS PROVIDED. Cancer News and Blog does not claim ownership of any materials you provide to Cancer News and Blog (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input, provide or submit to the website for review by members of the general public, or by members of any public or private group (each a “Submission”). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you are granting Cancer News and Blog and its agents permission to use your Submission in connection with Cancer News and Blog operation of the website and its other businesses, including without limitation, the right to copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission, and to publish your name in connection with your Submission, all without the payment of compensation to you in respect of any such use of your Submission. You warrant and represent that you own, or otherwise control, all of the rights to your Submission, including without limitation, the rights necessary for you to post, upload, input, provide or submit your Submission.

NO RIGHT TO REDISTRIBUTE WEBSITE MATERIALS. You agree that you will not redistribute, copy, amend, or commercially exploit any materials found on the website without Cancer News and Blog’s express written permission, which permission may be withheld in Cancer News and Blog’s sole discretion and/or that of its owner.

NO MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR OPINIONS ARE GIVEN ON THIS WEBSITE. The information on this website is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither CancerNewsandBlog.com, Vernon Carré, the author of any page or post on this website take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained anywhere on this website, including the comments made by visitors and authors displayed in the Comments section of blog posts and pages, as well as in the research or news feeds presented on the website. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. Failure to do so could result in permanently harming your health up to and including death. This website, its owner and any writers or authors on this website assume no risk or liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented or discussed on this website.

Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.  Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization’s standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.

PRODUCTS AND INFORMATION. For your convenience, Cancer News and Blog may make available on the website products for purchase, use and/or download (the “Products“) and information (“the Information”). Cancer News and Blog does not make any assurances with regard to the accuracy of the results or output that derives from such use of any such Products or Information. The Products and Information are copyrighted works of Cancer News and Blog, Vernon Carré and/or its suppliers, and are protected by copyright law and international treaty provisions. If a Product is accompanied by a use agreement, your use of that Product is governed by the terms of such use agreement, and you must agree to the terms and conditions of such use agreement in order to use such Product. If a Product is not accompanied by a license agreement, Cancer News and Blog hereby grants to you a revocable, personal, non-transferable license to use such Product in accordance with this Website Use Agreement and for no other purpose. Without limiting the foregoing, any reproduction, redistribution, reverse engineering or decompilation of the website or the Products or Information is expressly prohibited by law, unless such action is expressly permitted by the accompanying license agreement, and may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. You agree not to redistribute the Products or Information, nor to export or re-export the Products or Information, directly or indirectly, to any countries that are subject to USA export restrictions. You may not use the Products or Information to defame, abuse, harass, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights of others. You may not use the Products or Information in association with the sale of any service or product which is discriminatory, obscene, defamatory, indecent or unlawful, or which in the reasonable opinion of Cancer News and Blog would reflect negatively upon the reputation of Cancer News and Blog, Vernon Carré, the website, the Products or the Information.

LIABILITY DISCLAIMER. THE TOOLS, RESOURCES, WEBSITE AND ANY CONTENT OR SOFTWARE CONTAINED THEREIN OR ACCESSIBLE THEREFROM, ARE PROVIDED “AS IS”. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW, CANCER NEWS AND BLOG MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS OF ANY KIND REGARDING: (A) THE UP-TO-DATENESS, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN OR AVAILABLE THROUGH THE USE OF THE TOOLS, RESOURCES, LINKS, BLOG OR WEBSITE; (B) THE RESULTS OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE TOOLS, RESOURCES, LINKS, BLOG OR WEBSITE; AND (C) ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THIRD PARTIES AND ACCESSIBLE ON OR THROUGH THE USE OF THE TOOLS, RESOURCES, LINKS, BLOG OR WEBSITE. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW, CANCER NEWS AND BLOG: (A) DISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTIES AS TO NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE; AND (B) DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE TOOLS, RESOURCES, LINKS, BLOG OR WEBSITE OR ANY CONTENT THEREIN WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, OR THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED.

THE USE OF THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, TOOLS, LINKS, BLOG POSTS AND WEBSITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND YOU ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR USING THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION OR WEBSITE, OR DOWNLOADING ANY CONTENT THEREON. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT LIABILITY UNDER ANY APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION CANNOT BE EXCLUDED: (A) CANCER NEWS AND BLOG IS NOT LIABLE FOR HARM, LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER ARISING AS A RESULT OF INFORMATION, RECOMMENDATIONS OR PRICES PUBLISHED ON OR FURNISHED THROUGH THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION OR WEBSITE, OR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS OF THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, TOOLS, LINKS, BLOG POSTS OR WEBSITE; (B) CANCER NEWS AND BLOG SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY ARISING FROM INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON OR FURNISHED THROUGH THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, TOOLS, LINKS, BLOG POSTS OR WEBSITE; AND (C) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL CANCER NEWS AND BLOG OR ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, VERNON CARRÉ , GUEST AUTHORS, AGENTS, VENDORS, SUPPLIERS OR DISTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE UNDER THIS AGREEMENT TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DEATH OR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE OR CONSEQUENTIAL LOSS OR DAMAGES OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR DAMAGES UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY (WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY OR ANY OTHER THEORY), THAT ARE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, TOOLS, LINKS, BLOG POSTS, WEBSITE, OR ANY CONTENT CONTAINED THEREON, EVEN IF CANCER NEWS AND BLOG HAS BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, OR ANY PORTION OF THE WEBSITE, OR WITH ANY OF THESE WEBSITE USE AGREEMENTS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USE OF THE PRODUCTS, INFORMATION, TOOLS, LINKS, BLOG POSTS AND WEBSITE.

INDEMNITY. You agree to indemnify and hold Cancer News and Blog, its owner(s), its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers and employees, harmless from any claim, demand, or damage, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, asserted by any third party or arising out of your use of, or conduct on, the website.

COPYRIGHT. The website, news feeds, tools, resources, links, blog posts and downloadable files are protected by copyright law and international treaty provisions and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part. No logo, trademark, graphic or image from the website may be copied or re transmitted without the express written permission of Cancer News and Blog.

GENERAL. Your use of the website shall be governed by all applicable Federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the States of North Carolina, Virginia and California, where the website is produced and/or hosted. Certain sections or pages of the website may contain separate terms or conditions. In the event of a conflict, the additional terms and conditions of this Website Use Agreement will govern for those sections or pages. Your agree that your use of the website will not create any joint venture, partnership, employment or agency relationship between you and Cancer News and Blog. If any part of this Website Use Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including but not limited to the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations set forth above, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid and enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of this Website Use Agreement shall continue in effect.

MODIFICATION OF THESE AGREEMENTS OF USE. Cancer News and Blog reserves the right to change this Website Use Agreement without notice. You are responsible for regularly reviewing these Website Use Agreement terms. Your continued use of the website constitutes your agreement to all such Website Use Agreements listed in this Website Use Agreement.

Comments Policy

Cancer News and Blog welcomes your comments about its Blog Posts and Pages. However, the website reserves the right to deny the posting of comments on the web site that are considered spam, offensive, distasteful, discourteous, promotional or which are not specific to the location or post where they are posted. Comments that include ethnic slurs or personal insults, obscenities, off-topic comments or any conduct that are not acceptable to web admins who approve them will not be accepted. Comments approved, rejected or later removed will be done at the sole discretion of the web admins. In addition, any violation of the Comments Policy may result in the immediate banning of offender from the website and its use.

Neither Caner News and Blog, Vernon Carré or Guest Authors accept responsibility or liability for the authenticity, correctness, accuracy, completeness, use or any resulting harm (including death) to visitors or readers as a result of the information submitted by visitors or staff in the comments or replies to the comments which are posted and approved on the Cancer News and Blog website. Please see the NO MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR OPINIONS ARE GIVEN ON THIS WEBSITE section in the Web Use Agreement, above.

All comments submitted will be reviewed and approved web admins. Please allow up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted.

Minors should seek permission from their parents or guardians before posting any comment. This website and its owner assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions of any person, adult or child,  making comments in which they might purposefully or inadvertently cause themselves vulnerable or at risk personally, financially or in any other way due to a comment made on this website.

By submitting a comment, you are agreeing to comply with all applicable local, state, national and international laws, rules and regulations. By submitting your comment, you grant Cancer News and Blog and Vernon Carré a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute the comment. Questions or comments not related to a news article may be submitted via e-mail using this link.

© 2017, External_Author. All rights reserved.

X

Click now and download the free HACKER'S HUNDRED important cancer links every new and current cancer patient needs.

¤