"It wasn't until late in life
that I discovered how easy it is
to say 'I don't know'."
-- W Somerset Maugham
As a sales manager for well over 40 years, I can't help but notice salespeople in a wide variety of industries that try to answer questions or make factual statements about products when they really don't have the information. They think they should and so they say things that are not true hoping to sound like an authority, yet for anyone on the receiving end that does know, they look the fool. Their only saving grace is having someone on the receiving end that doesn't know and so may take their statements as fact, when often they are fantasy.
How often do we do this in conversations with each other about things that aren't important? We may try to sound like we know what we're talking about when in fact, we know so little about a subject, yet want to appear knowledgeable. I guess they call that the art of B.S.. What's really interesting is to watch a conversation like this and know the real facts as you listen to the B.S.
What is easier is to not only be willing, but be prepared to state that we don't know. Even when it is in your field and you think you should know the answer, there is no shame in stating that you don't know the answer, but you will be happy to find out. That adds class to the act.
Is It That Important That I know Everything?
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