Alliance Resources

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The Key to Saying “I Don’t Know” When an Employee Asks a Challenging Question

As a leader in Recruitment Services in Southern California, Alliance Resource Group knows the importance of providing a professional image at all times. Being perceived as a leader involves providing an answer to every question your employees ask. Projecting credibility and influence encourages your team members to come to you for help when needed. Because you teach people how to treat you through your words and actions, if you say “I don’t know,” your employees will go to someone else instead. To avoid appearing incompetent, use some of the following responses when your employees ask questions you cannot answer.

“Let me make sure I understand what you need”

When you do not know the answer to something, provide a response that allows time to think about how best to handle the request. You could say, “Let me be sure I understand which information you’re looking for,” then ask a follow-up question. After hearing more details about what the employee wants to know, respond to a smaller piece of what they say rather than the entire request. As you gain more information, work on formulating an appropriate response.

“Based on what I know today…”

When asked a challenging question, form your response that shows you have a limited understanding of the topic but will make an informed guess. You can say, “Based on what I know today, my thoughts are…” Point out a bit of additional information that may help your team to better understand the issue and help you find an answer.

“I’m currently gathering information on that”

If you just returned from vacation and are getting caught up on what happened while you were away, let the employee know you are in the process of getting informed on the issue. You might say, “You have excellent timing. I’m currently gathering information on that topic.” Because you want to give accurate information, the answer shows your initiative to discover the specifics and give an informed answer.

 “Let me consider that and get back to you”

If you are unsure how to deal with an issue, postpone providing an answer until you have all the facts. You might say, “I can partly answer that, but want to consider it further and get back to you.” Share the information you have, then find out the rest and deliver it later.

Take Advantage of Top Recruitment Services in Southern California

When you need to find the best finance and accounting professionals in Southern California, trust Alliance Resource Group. We bring our high-touch, sophisticated screening process and unparalleled industry knowledge to every search, from interim professionals to C-level retained searches to temporary accounting operations assistance. Get in touch with us today.