I would love to write long, though out post about the what I saying “I don’t know” really means, but G. Jason Head beat me to it and he’s spot on. A highly recommended read.
Three words that strike fear and disgust in project managers, creative directors and especially account executives in agencies across the globe.
Me? Well as a web developer and manager I embrace them.
I think it’s high time that we got rid of the stigma attached to “I Don’t Know”. This is especially relevant in the web development industry – where the technologies we use come and go as fast as the speed of light.
He makes some great points in this and it’s been my experience as a designer and as a manager that when interviewing candidates or talking with my team hearing someone say “I Don’t Know” typically is a positive. I appreciate it, I expect it, and I want to know that the person I’m talking to is being honest and I can trust them.
For me it tells me that the person is self-aware. People that aren’t self-aware would try to bullshit their way through a question or a request and it becomes obvious immediately that they really have no clue what they are talking about. I am not sure why people try to do this. Like Head says in his article there is an old school stigma about it which is really sad and counter productive.
But you know who hates hearing this? Your colleagues who are not developers (especially those Client Service folks!). And I’m here to tell you that they need to lighten up a little bit. They should also want to hear you say this once in a while. It’s healthy. It’s normal. It tells your colleagues to trust you.