I Don’t Know the Answer, But I’ll Find Out


by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I've got more than 50 letters behind my name from various certifications, have read thousands of books, earned national recognition for various roles, founded multiple companies, and have rubbed shoulders with some of the smartest people on the planet.

Want to know what one of the best responses to a question I've ever heard is?

Best Response to a Question When You Don't Know the Answer

When asked something you're not certain of the answers to, the most powerful response I've ever heard is, “I don't know. But I'll find out.”

That response is an honest one. By admitting you don't know everything, it demonstrates integrity, and also gives you a chance to follow up and build trust with others when you do find the answer. It is impossible for one individual to know everything.

We Don't Even Know All the Questions, Much Less the Answers

We don't even know what questions to ask, much less the answers. For example, did you ever stop to think to ask the question, “What's an innovative way South Korea produces electricity?”

If you had thought to ask that question, you might have found out something interesting. Apparently, in South Korea, they have solar panels in the middle of some highways. Not only do those produce clean energy, but they also have a bicycle path underneath where cyclists are protected from the sun and isolated from traffic.

Asking a questsion leads to an interesting answer - South Korea mixes solar energy with interstates

But most of us would not have known that answer unless we had just happened to see it on Reddit or lived in that area. I would have never even thought to ask the question, much less know the answer.

Pretending to Know Everything Makes People Trust You Less

Wikipedia alone claims to have 1.9 edits EVERY SECOND and 594 new articles every day. So how could one possibly claim to know everything? If you try to sound like you know everything, it just makes others trust you less, not more.

When asked a question you don't know, try using the phrase, “I don't know, but I will find out.”

Then, assuming you're interested in the answer, go find out.

I think you'll find letting go of the need to know everything quite freeing.

I Don\'t Know the Answer, But I\'ll Find Out

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Me and my wife enjoy seeing live stand up comedians perform in the NYC/NJ area. One of my thrills was seeing iconic

Read More
How Does the Wealthiest Comedian on Earth Teach You to Be Creative?

Use the links below to navigate our picks for the best personal development books for each of the following topics. FinancesBusiness Relationships

Read More
Best Personal Development Books: 20 Books to Skyrocket Your Success

“They say such nice things about people at funerals that it makes me sad I am going to miss mine by just

Read More
What is the Tombstone Test?

I am guessing that most people reading this have a good supply of books. And that every new personal development book that

Read More
Looking to Buy More Books?

What makes you think you are right? Have you ever gotten into an argument with a person who believes they are always

Read More
Are You Sure About That?

What do you consider to be a failure? And do you know how to deal with failures? For me, failure is directly

Read More
How to Deal with Failures in Your life?

My mom had a multi-millionaire baker in her. My family believed her baked goods were out of this world. But when family,

Read More
Take Your Talent to the Limit

I've looked at many resumes over the years, and for many people, it would be easier to name what they haven't done

Read More
Survey of Six Figure Earners Shows Why Focus Is Important

I wrote about using credit cards the other day and got a lot of negative feedback. People or experience had convinced many that Credit

Read More
People Don’t Like it if You Challenge Their Mindsets

Self-improvement or personal development is a conscious effort that is focused towards getting yourself out of the mundane banalities of life. This

Read More
5 Outstanding Self Improvement Skills You Should Start Using Today

From Matthew 25:14-30 comes a story about those who choose to use the gifts they have wisely, and those who do not.

Read More
Parable of the Investors

I have aligned with good partners over the years through my blog. Picking good business partners is a skill to hone for

Read More
How to Pick Good Business Partners
>