May 7, 2018. I'm terrified that they won't understand and will laugh at me/it will damage our friendship." It makes you the likable, honest candidate. Take a deep breath and don’t panic. This site uses cookies to power our shopping cart and provide us with analytics so we can continuously improve. 2. “You can say, ‘I appreciate that this is of interest, right now. I just smile or fake laugh or say "yeah" because I have nothing else to say. 20. "I don't know," is one of those phrases that can easily fly out of your mouth before you even realize what you're saying. If that feels incomplete, continue to answer in broad strokes and promise the exact facts and figures in a follow-up email: “Initial numbers showed that it was performing well, but I still need to pull the exact figures. Here are some examples of what this could sound like: “Wow. This way, you’re still putting a premium on giving an accurate answer (by not accidentally guessing wrong) but not worrying anyone by saying “I don’t know” to what should be a basic question. Plus, it's not your job to put nosy busybodies at ease. ", "How do you feel right now as you think about answering this question? The best course of action is to employ a phrase that avoids misleading the other person, but still makes him or her feel like you answered the question. If you’re lucky, saying this will earn you credit for your honesty, and for not being the type of person who evades an answer when you’re unsure. Realize that you don’t always have to have the best answer or say the perfect thing. “‘I don’t know’ can … If you liked the coaching questions in this article, you may also like: Image of Client in a box looking up by ESB Professional via Shutterstock. (MORE: Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps) But it’s important that “I don’t know” isn’t the entirety of your answer. It should tell people you’re a straight shooter—not someone who fudges an answer when you’re unsure. You’re in the accounting department and your team is still working out the financial projections for the next year. This usually causes the interviewer to pursuit a new line of questioning (hopefully to an area in which you're more knowledgeable). Here’s what I know, and here’s what I don’t know. It could be that they're afraid what their inner critic will say to their answer (don't be such a baby!). “I Don’t Know” is Not an Answer—or an Option! Resist the urge. It’s ok to say that you’re sorry but you don’t think you’re the right person to be supporting them at the moment. However, knowing how to respond to a question for which you don't know the answer can help alleviate some of the anxiety and can help you make the most out of … ‘Told you that you would say … It's habit for you to answer, 'I don't know' because you think you need to answer immediately. Take a second to think before you speak and you won’t regret it. I need to answer a few for myself. They may frame a question in a confusing way, leaving you to believe you don’t know how to answer it, or even worse, that you don’t have the faintest idea what they’re talking about. When your conversation with someone is winding down and you don’t know where to take it next, you usually feel a mild panic. Say, “Let me know when you figure it out!” or even ask, “What else do you have going on tonight?” Assertive, yes, but it’s the best way to coax a direct answer from the evasive texter. I feel comfortable/can answer or respond to this part… 18. I realize that I need some time to think about it/research it/find out. And it's a great time to remind our clients, "Just because you FEEL or THINK it doesn't make it true.". “You can say, ‘I appreciate that this is of interest, right now. You don’t have to always say it outright! This is the perfect time to employ, “Here’s what I can tell you.” It works like this: When someone asks, say, how the program you’re proposing for one target group of people impacts another, say, “We haven’t studied working parents, but here’s what I can tell you: Seniors, who the grant designated as the target audience, responded favorably in our initial studies.”. Sometimes, you don’t know the answer to a question because there’s no earthly way you could. This email is also a great opportunity to provide a well-thought answer to the question. By Jamie Kravitz. Practice taking a breath and THINKING for a minute when someone asks you a question. Herramientas de Coaching Gratuitas en ESPAÑOL. The Brilliant Response to Any Interview Question You Don't Know How to Answer When a job interview starts going badly, here's how to turn things around. If you don’t want to answer the entire question, find a part that you can address, says Sullivan. So here’s a 5-step process to help you come up with the words you need when you don’t know what to say. Remember, you don’t have to try and solve other people’s problems and you’re not there to give advice. Perhaps if they say the answer out loud they'll have to face something unpleasant (have that difficult conversation with their boss/partner). Let's try something here. A smarter option? Not knowing the best way to respond to a question probably isn't going to knock you out of contention for a job. In class, most teachers, most of the time, ask leading questions. Some people are long winded and rather wordy. You can come across as an absent-minded manager or a courageous innovator. 3. Make sure you don’t just brush your client off with an, “I don’t know go ask so-and-so,” or something similar. So instead of just going straight to, “I don’t know, sorry,” take a second to collect your thoughts and provide your boss with the fact or tidbit you do know. For nearly three years, she was an editor at The Muse, and she's regularly contributed career advice to Mashable. Many interviewers ask though questions not to see if you know the answer, but to see how you react under pressure. "Imagine you're in a helicopter flying over the map of your life. But a couple seconds of silence is better than having to backtrack after saying the wrong thing. This Is How To Respond To A Question You Don’t Know The Answer To Sometimes, “I don’t know” or “Let me get back to you” just doesn’t cut it. But avoiding me or acting awkward around me doesn’t help. Even within your own department, sometimes you don’t have the background or expertise to answer everything (nor, frankly, should you). I know/know how to … and don’t know/know how to …, so the next step that makes the most sense is … 22. Now we have the truth - and something real to work with. So, what should you do instead? Many interviewers ask though questions not to see if you know the answer, but to see how you react under pressure. And now, strategy number 5 for how to respond to an interview question when you don’t know or feel stuck is follow up. The pressure is on. I once spoke with a woman who was truly an expert in her field—the only engineer on her software team with a PhD. You have to tell them you care about them deeply. “Wow. Nobody likes getting cold called, so you’ll often get the no-time objection right away. The funniest way to say ‘I don't know' is to degrade the other person and tell them that they don't deserve a reply. And then say what you WANT to say. You can say something along the lines of, “I haven’t dealt with a situation like that before, but I would start by asking these questions…” You could also try something like, “That concept or situation is new to me. ", "I feel that too sometimes. Many of us feel like a deer in headlights when someone says something insulting, hurtful, or presumptuous, and we have no comeback prepared. Amanda, 35 17. Once, while at a professional crossroads, digital marketing executive Dr. Patricia Fletcher reached out to a mentor for help. How to say I don’t know (when you should know the answer). Maybe it was why Jesus responded the way He did to His mother in John 2:3-5. Know when to say “I don’t know.” There are so many ways to say you don’t have the answer without admitting defeat. Next time someone says similar words to you, you should know that Goodbye.” This message tells the person you are texting that you felt ghosting was wrong of him or her, and that you hope it is not a repeated practice for them. 07 “I don’t know how to respond to ghosting, but I hope no one else has to go through this with you. Be YOU. Regardless, Dave’s answer astounded me. I Don't Know What To Say Once I've Connected With Someone on LinkedIn?! Why Black or White Thinking May be Keeping Keep Your Clients Stuck! It's all about them, all the time, they never think of others. Learn different ways to say I don’t know with pictures to improve your communications skill in English. I don’t have a hint. Somebody asked a question about the text. ", "Remember that just because you answer, doesn't mean you need to do anything about it. Here are 15 Ways to Turn "I Don't Know" into an Aha Moment! It turns out that the tech-savvy PhD was in a job that required her to represent the department in senior-level executive meetings where it had been deemed acceptable—even encouraged—to interru… [Photo: g-stockstudio/iStock] It happens: You’re behind in your research, your mind has gone blank, or for whatever reason, you’re unable to answer a question you’re expected to know (like, “how did the last advertising campaign go?”—when you’re the marketing manager). If you don’t know what to say when you’ve related to someone’s answer, inquire about what you’ve just said. From here we can look at the feelings, explore the judgements, prepare back-up plans, discover new options, and MOST importantly honour the whole person. Every time you say “I don’t know,” you teach people not to come to you next time. How to respond: Attempt to make the non-committer commit. I don’t remember exactly what it was. I’m not an expert on that matter. Instead it can lead to a sort of performance anxiety that winds up paralyzing your mind. First, take your mind off of yourself and try to silently understand what caused this other person to say this humiliating thing to you. Say, “I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that,” then follow up with the appropriate referral to your boss, another department, or whoever can better answer the question. This usually causes the interviewer to pursuit a new line of questioning (hopefully to an area in which you're more knowledgeable). Lets relax for a moment into this 'don't know' place. In my view, our schools unintentionally train students to say, “I don’t know,” and to stop thinking. It’s super important to look after yourself. Most interviewers find this approach refreshing. After googling, I’m wondering … 20. However, responding “I don’t know,” probably won’t do the person seeking answers any favors—or make you look any better. Learn how to talk to people by using these 3 tips that’ll help you engage and delight everyone you meet. I want the youth to know that I care too much to accept “I don’t know.” What a child thinks matters to me and I genuinely want to understand, so “I don’t know” can’t be accepted as a final answer. Other times, they respond with, “I dunno, maybe I’d say something about ___” or “I’d probably say ___, but I don’t know ___.” Both of those responses give you valuable insight into kids’ thought processes and give you something to work with. Whenever someone talks to me I don't have anything to say back to them. Perhaps their logical, rational side thinks their answer is ridiculous, childish or immature (she won't like me any more). By this I mean honour the parts of our clients that feel afraid, embarrassed, ashamed, resentful. I respond with, “Take a minute and think about it. Home » Coaching Blog » Types of Coaching » Here are 15 Ways to Turn "I Don't Know" into an Aha Moment! I grovelled to a guy I loved. That is, this short statement is the end of their thinking, not the beginning. Step 1: Don’t Fight Anxiety…Accept It and Act Through It. Your email address will not be published. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t diminish the other person’s experience or make it all about you. How you respond to the “I don’t know” will deterine the success of the rest of the conversation. This approach also works when you do have an answer, but you probably shouldn’t be talking about it (e.g., you accidentally overheard the information, you were given it in confidence, or you know that it’s a dicey topic). This has been going on for a few months I can't even talk to my family because I don't have anything to say. You may not be able to say it back right now, but that doesn’t mean you never will. When you do this, it signals that you are a safe harbor for vulnerability. ", Ask them for THEIR helicopter perspective. Often when our clients say "I don't know", they really do know - they're just unwilling to acknowledge or face the answer.