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3 Things Good Managers Say Instead of “I Don’t Know”

By | Adrian J. Hopkins | www.themuse.com

Picture this: You’ve been promoted to manager because your supervisors have confidence in your ability to lead and inspire. It feels great! You love helping your direct reports do their best work, and you smile when see that “Director of” title on your business card.

Yet, there’s one situation that your prior experience and those Management 101 books seemed to overlook: what to do when you’re supposed to have answers for your team and, unfortunately, you have no clue.

Although you may feel that you need to give an immediate response every time someone runs into your office with an issue, this is a critical first step to take: Stop. Seriously. Don’t rush to give just any answer. And though it feels tempting, avoid saying “I don’t know.” What feels like a conclusive statement to you actually sounds like ellipses to your team. It leaves them hanging and creates more questions.

When you reach these critical moments, pause, collect yourself, and consider these approaches:

1.“I don’t have the information I need to give an answer. I’ll find it.”

In retrospect, when I’ve said “I don’t know,” it has been because the situation was new—software that I had never used, projects and stakes that I had never encountered. In those moments, though, I could have taken a moment to evaluate the data from past projects that had similar deliverables or challenges.

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Source
www.themuse.com
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