I don’t know…

I work in an industry where most people work on their own, yet inside a team, a group, or an office. The statement I never hear is “I don’t know.”

Thinking... please wait
(Used under Creative Commons: Thanks Karola Riegler!)

At least, I don’t hear it enough. As someone who teaches people how to utilize a system that will make their life easier and as someone who knows that education and learning is something you should never stop doing I often find myself wondering, why are people afraid to ask for help when they don’t know something?

We all do it. We all try to manage or find some way to cheat the system or cope in our own ways without asking those who have the knowledge or experience to assist us.
Empty road
(Used under Creative Commons: Thanks Ramberg Media!)

The people I see every day try to hone into an image, be it someone who is super technical, over personable or even just a hard-worker. I know these people are everything they claim to be, everything they want themselves to be and all it takes for them to be just a little bit better is to have the ability to ask for help, when you need help.

Do you ask for help? Do you recognize when you need assistance? Do you feel, should you need it, that you can reach out to those who can help?

Any of the above statements are hard to answer on your own. Only you can answer them.
Balancing Sunlight
(Used under Creative Commons: Thanks Pink Sherbet Photography!)

Learning is something that you should never stop doing. Self-actualization is something you should always be aware of.
There are many resources out there, locate them, and use them.

4 responses to “I don’t know…”

  1. You know, I seriously believe that progress bar is true for some drivers. The drivers I ‘m talking about are the ones that take about 10 to 15 seconds to step on the gas after a light turns green (and the intersection was clear).

  2. You hit on something that has been driving me crazy. It’s not so much that they don’t ask it’s that they have to act like or delusionally believe they know something they never checked.

    I say I don’t know a lot, even to my clients. I have a hyper-responsibility disorder and the worse thing I can do is give bad advice. I often say, “I’m not sure, but I will look for the answer.” Even when I know the answer 99.9% I hate being wrong so I often hedge the answer.

    There is someone I know who talks but she sounds like a 5 year-old making up the answers as they go. I think it’s built into us to make sense of the universe but when people just pull stuff out of their ass it drives me crazy. I know where they are pulling it from because I am the guy who hates to be wrong so I love to know random facts. When I say, “No, I think it is actually like this…”, they just say, “Oh, really? I wasn’t sure (Then why the hell were you just telling someone something as if you just heard it from God?) but it made sense if you stuck a cucmber in a light socket it would power the house. Don’t potatoes run clocks?”
    A buddy watched the Back to the Future extras where they were joking that the hoverboards actually existed but parent groups stopped them from selling them. He believed it and was telling people like he found the fountain of youth. Dumbass!

    Damn, I think you found a button of mine.

    As far as the fear of asking, it has to do with ego and image control. It’s why some people have thier homes foreclosed on instead of going through short sales. They are too embarassed in many cases. A long time ago an agent couldn’t sell the house in time and his clients asked for him to put a sold sticker so the neighbors didn’t know what really happened.

    The ego is the downfall of many.

  3. What an interesting observation, Nick. I think fear is the main motivator in this instance. People are fearful that others will find out that they aren’t as “smart” as they project. And so they continue to pretend that they understand when they don’t.

    I think the inability to admit you don’t know is one of the more dangerous personality traits an employee can possess, especially in certain industries. Health care springs to mind.

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