The one word that changes how I answer every question

Spoiler alert: “Yet”

It’s been a crazy few weeks as we get ready for 2015 at work.  Lots of meetings, lots of planning, and lots of change.  Some days I’m in a complete panic, but mostly I am optimistic that this work will pay off with a smooth plan for how we execute in 2015.

I’ve noticed that as I am working on progressively bigger projects with broader scope, I’m not comfortable saying “I don’t know.”  Several times each day, I’m in fast-paced meetings where we’re making big decisions, and not knowing just doesn’t cut it.

So I’ve started to answer questions differently. Subtly, I’ve made the shift from:

“I don’t know”
“I don’t know yet”

It’s a sign to whoever’s asking that I’m engaged, and I want them to ask me that kind of thing again in the future.  It’s a reminder to myself that this topic or type of question is something I need to be better prepared to address if I want to work at this level.

“I don’t know” means more than “I don’t know”; it means “I don’t know and also I don’t know how to form an opinion for next time you ask.”

“I don’t know yet” means “I don’t know because I don’t have all the information I need or the framework to have an opinion, but I’m going to figure that stuff out so keep me in the game.”

Sheryl, do you think your hiring plan is appropriate for our growth?
Sheryl, do you think we can achieve those goals on the screen?
Sheryl, should those be internal or external resources?

I don’t know…yet.

One thought on “The one word that changes how I answer every question

  1. Pingback: No, I’m not Going to “Fake it ‘til you make it.” | storageDiva's Tablespace

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