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The Power of I Don't Know

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in leadership and life came when I found the courage to say, “I don’t know.” Somewhere along the way we were conditioned to trade curiosity for feigned competence to avoid judgement. I find this interesting because I’ve noticed that the most inspiring and impactful leaders are the ones who are willing to admit what they don’t know and who are open to learning. What if instead of people thinking, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe she doesn’t know!” they are actually thinking, “Oh thank God she asked, because I had no clue what that meant either!”? If the thought of speaking up in this way in your next meeting or conversation still feels challenging, here are a few strategies to support you as you practice this humble and helpful habit. Jargon Giraffe. Imagine the position you would place your fingers in to make a shadow puppet of a giraffe. One of my training participants introduced me to this brilliant concept where if someone raised their hand in this giraffe gesture, it meant that I said an acronym or word that I needed to clarify. This is a fun and safe way to invite your audience to notify their facilitator that they’ve said something they don’t understand, and they need further explanation. Authenticity Opportunity. One of the many beautiful things that has come with aging is a decrease in worrying about what others think of me and thus an increase in confidence. Just coming right out and saying, “I don’t know,” is a beautiful demonstration of authenticity, vulnerability, and transparency. These are all traits to which many can relate and appreciate. They are also the common characteristics that are shared among my most successful friends and role models. Not only is it refreshing for all who are observing, but it gives them permission to show up as their whole and authentic selves as well. Cultivate Curiosity. We may refrain from saying, “I don’t know,” out of the fear of being viewed as incompetent. We can reframe that whole notion and view it as curiosity instead. Curiosity is a ripe opportunity for learning and growth. This week I challenge you to speak up when you are faced with something that you don’t know. Take the opportunity in the moment to learn, grow and model confidence and vulnerability to inspire that same courage in those who are watching. Manifestation Affirmations I am me, authentically. I welcome vulnerability. I am an advocate for my own learning and growth.

Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide

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