The fear of not having an immediate answer to a question used to paralyze me. Remember in school when you were afraid the teacher would call on you for the one question you didn’t know the answer to? A question would be posed and you’d look down at your desk and frantically pray, “No, no, no, please don’t call on me. Not for this one. Please no, not me.” It can be traumatizing to some kids, if they live in fear they’ll look foolish in front of their peers.
Some adults still live with that same fear. What if someone asks you a question for which you don't have the answer?
Here's the thing, though: Who said, or where did you read that you need to have all the answers? Even if you're a sponsor, team leader, Manager or Director, what is the worst that would happen if you uttered the words, "I’m not sure, but I will find out and get back to you?”
We’re mostly all adults in this business, at least according to our driver’s license we’re at least the age of majority. Yet some people confuse being an independent business owner with being in sixth grade. No one is going to laugh and point and call you mean names if you don’t know the answer to something. Rather, it will likely make you look more human and approachable when others see that it’s ok if you don’t have all the answers.
Starting a new business can be scary. There is a lot to learn. “I don’t know but I will find out” is a very good response. It shows your willingness to learn and to provide an accurate and timely response to the customer or team member.
People in business who are too afraid to take risks will generally speaking not go very far. Risks don’t need to be massive with extensive consequences. They could be as simple as stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance that you will be okay if someone asks you a question to which you do not immediately know the answer.
Interestingly, some are perfectly fine telling their customers or team members that they don’t know the answer to something, but at all costs will avoid being in this situation with their peers. Some leaders who are very comfortable around most people will do everything within their power to not meet with fellow managers or directors for fear of not knowing something. That is just crazy because fellow peers don’t have any direct influence or impact on your business, so who cares if you know or don’t know something about these folks?
It sounds silly when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? I’d rather not put myself out there, talking with people because I might not know the answer to something and I don’t want to look foolish. If you are paralyzed with this feeling of not knowing an answer to something, consider what advice you might give your child if he/she came home and told you he wasn’t doing very well in school because he didn’t want to raise his hand to answer a question. He was too afraid she might get the answer wrong. Whatever advice you’d give your child on this subject, give it to yourself too. Then watch your business grow.