The Moral Dilemma: I Plead the Fifth
I am honest to a fault.
My boyfriend believes there are occasions where it is better to withhold information. I tend to disagree.
I can’t hold in any information or emotion. When I am in a mood, my chest starts to break out all blotchy and rises all the way up to my neck.
The only way I can have a poker face is if I’m wearing a turtleneck. It’s so embarrassing. I hate that people can tell when I am embarrassed, sad, mad or really excited. It’s no fun!
It’s also depressing to know that I could never be a pro gambler.
But, I am learning that honesty, for me, is the best policy. And, being honest with myself. Which is why I think it is so important to admit what you don’t know. I think I have gotten this far in life because I’m transparent.
If I’m mad at you, I have to tell you because you can physically see it. Once I can tell that you’ve noticed, the flood gates pour, and I don’t think conflict is necessarily a bad thing. I would rather have someone admit to me that they’re upset, then go tell five other people about it when they could have just confronted me about the scenario. It’s funny to me that most people are thinking PREACH, but I feel like I’m one of the few that practices what they preach on this one.
I also am a firm believer in admitting what you don’t know. Just say, I do not know, but I will find out and get back to you.
I don’t feel like I need to impress someone by always having the answer. It’s not always my spot to chime in. This one took me years, I mean years, to learn.
Surround yourself with smart people. They’ll have the answers that will guide you to make decisions.
Don’t spend all of your time learning everything there is to know. When you do know something, speak up.
If people start using acronyms that you don’t understand, instead of just pretending like you know what they’re talking about, just ask them straight up!
You know what you just did? Made their eyes light up because they feel like they can share knowledge with you and that they know something you didn’t know. They got to teach it to you. That makes people happy and you learn something new - double win!
In meetings, I do not feel that intimidated by people higher up than me in the room. Why? We’re all in that meeting for a purpose. Each body in each chair plays a different role. With where I’m at in my career, I’m usually just sitting in to learn or to provide input.
But I always tell myself, the CEO or the CFO doesn’t know everything. They’re relying on you to give them information so they can make decisions. They were once in your shoes, and they were once spending time preparing to come to a meeting and thinking of the 5,000 different questions that could be asked in hopes that someone would fire off one of them.
I promise you, you will not look stupid.
What you look is honest, and you’re showing people that they can trust you. Also, that you’re able to let yourself be vulnerable.
Plus, it’s exhausting to know everything! At this day in age, what benefit is there really to being a know-it-all anyway? We have Google, people!
Embrace the unknown. Embrace not being the smartest person in the room.
If you say something that is a lie or the wrong answer and the person at the opposite end of the table knows you’re wrong - I would argue that looks worse.
Leave your ego at the door.
Walk into every meeting and conversation with the goal to come to a mutual understanding and I promise you that you’ll feel way more confident than walking into the room trying to win or prove your worth.