“Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease.” –Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Stephen Mitchell translation)
“The bravest leaders and contributors aren’t worried about appearing afraid. It allows them to see the world more clearly.” -Seth Godin
“I don’t know” is a powerful answer to any question.
“I don’t know” is honest. It’s brave. It takes guts to admit. It also indicates trust. Meaning that you trust the person on the receiving end of “I don’t know” to not judge you. To still trust in your merit and ability and insight.
And remember…”I don’t know” isn’t a final answer. It’s just where you are now. You start with “I don’t know”, but can then learn as much about the issue or question or problem. And with that added knowledge, time and reflection, you make the best possible decision if/when you need to make one.