You don’t know what you’re doing – and that’s ok!

  photo by KM photography 

I’ve written before that the secret ingredient to success is confidence.  A confident approach to things will open doors in ways that can seem almost amazing – you’ve heard people talk about ‘con men’…con is short for confidence, it can be magic.

However confidence doesn’t mean that you have to know it all.  In fact someone that doesn’t know it all, but has a strong Growth mindset and the confidence to figure it out (what ever it might be) is going to always out perform the know it all (let’s face it you never completely know what’s going on).

The point is, it’s okay, even expected that you don’t know everything!

I was reminded of this when I read this week’s edition of one of the best weekly newsletters that I get (and I get quite a few). 

Doug Sundheim is a partner with Clarity Consulting in New York and he writes a weekly success tips newsletter (you can register on the left hand side of this website that I linked to on his name).  He routinely comes up with a great take on team dynamics, leadership or business principles.

This week’s article is all about encouraging everyone to open up to not knowing everything.

Rest assured, no one else knows what they’re doing either. They’re making everything up too. Relax into your ignorance. Open up. Experiment.

If you’re willing to confidently be open about not knowing something, you can engage in a meaningful dialogue with your employees or your clients that will allow you to really move the relationship forward and also will likely help you come up with a solution that’s far better than you would have stumbled upon on your own.

Doug encourages creating a culture of allowing and encouraging people to not know – it will take you off your perceived pedestal, take off some of the pressure of always needing to be right and it will help drive better communications and solutions.

Do you ever open up with employees or other trusted confidantes on things that you don’t know?  (By the way, a Peer Group Advisory Board would be great for that…I’m just sayin!).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – I don’t know what other people think, so please share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

1 thought on “You don’t know what you’re doing – and that’s ok!”

  1. Tobin Truog says:

    Hi Shawn, nice post and another great point.

    I used to work for an editor whose mantra was “always act like you know what you are doing.”

    It seems like a silly thing, but helped me be more confident in other areas of my life. And eventually helped me do things I never thought I could do.

    I think that acting like you know what you are doing, means that you can be open to not KNOWING everything. Confidence feeds on confidence.

    To address this to business: My belief is that business owners are confident about the things they are experts at, and then get caught in the trap that they have to be that way in all things.

    Thanks for the post that evoked these memories for me Shawn!

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