Contact me +447985 440014 or email:

Begin with ‘I don’t know’… and grow your relationships at work

A little thought to stare the juices…

It’s really funny, in an odd kind of way, but I rejoice when I hear the word ‘I don’t know’ from a client.


‘Why?’ You ask. Well, it’s because this is a great place to start.

At this point, we can really start to explore ideas without being restrained or limited by what we ‘know’ as we’ve established that we don’t know! Also it takes a special kind of person to acknowledge and admit when they don’t know something. I’ve dwelt amidst circles of people where there have been certain individuals who feel like they need to ‘know everything’; it is almost a threat to their sense of personhood to not know something… so they’d rather pretend that they do… (like that’s much better isn’t it?). In the workplace – this can affect working relationships and can lead to conflict. It can become irritating when one works with a person that behaves in this way.

In my experience such people end up presenting themselves as stupid; they alienate people and moreover they stick to this style of behaviour because it is what they know and they won’t ask so they won’t learn any new ways of responding… and so the cycle continues. In my experience, having been like this in the past (I have thankfully grown out of this now), it can also be very isolating for the individual themselves. Having to know everything ALL the time is stressful!

help please

However, by practicing being open and honest with oneself, We can now, in this genuine place of ‘I don’t know’ start to imagine and create using the notion of ‘As if…’ Being able to be humble in this way aids working relationships as it promotes trust and communication between colleagues – this is essential for business growth.

So: if we could act ‘as if’ anything were possible, what would we like to be able to do, try and become instead?

These questions are really asking you how you would like to grow.

People that don’t admit they do not know, are unwilling to learn and so are unwilling to grow. Such people remain stagnant.

This genuine state of ‘I don’t know’ is rife with opportunity. We can recruit the resources of playfulness, strength and softness to really generate ideas about what is possible and how to manage the situation. Seeing the situation through the filters of playfulness, strength and softness brings a new reality and dimension to the situation.

So the next time you get a sense of ‘I don’t know’, rub your hands together and think: ‘Great, I’m ready to start…’


The Work Stress Buster provides a range of interactive 1-1 and Team support for organisations. To find out more, see here.


photo credit: <a href=”″>Joyce Meyer Small beginnings are the launching pad to great endings</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”″>Lord please help me evan assaid rob madden</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Similar Articles

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *