April 20, 2011 / 12:44 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Don't know? Just fess up

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, June 19, 2008. REUTERS/China Daily

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - When you pretend to know everything, you miss opportunities to learn and risk losing peoples’ trust, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Many managers are afraid to utter things like: ‘I don’t know,’ ‘Would you help me?’ or ‘I’m not sure I get it.’ But failing to admit when you make a mistake or lack knowledge makes you less effective.

When you pretend to know everything, you miss opportunities to learn. And if you try to hide your ignorance or your errors, you’ll lose peoples’ trust. They know when you don’t know something or make an error.

Fess up when you’re in those situations. Acknowledge your own limitations so others can do the same. And when you need it, ask for help and be open to learning.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “The Words Many Managers Are Afraid To Say” by Linda Hill and Kent Lineback.

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