It’s OK to be human… this includes understanding that:
- If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to say, and
- If you make a mistake, just say so
Don't feel that by admitting you don’t know something you are lacking credibility. It’s quite the opposite. Admitting you don’t know gives you credibility and makes you appear more professional than making up a response does. If you try to make up an answer, be aware that someone in the room may know the actual facts and therefore will know you are making it up anyway.
You can still be an Exceptional Expert, and an expert in your field, and not know the answer to something. Particularly in industries that change rapidly, such as the Vocational Education and Training industry. Some emergency questions for Trainers, when asked a question you may not know the answer to, include:
“Great question, what do you think?”
“Terrific question, does anyone else have any ideas?”
“Excellent question – does anyone else know the answer?”
And of course, “That is a fantastic question. I’m not sure of the answer myself, can I look into it during the break and get back to you?”
Of course, many Trainers and Presenters are experts in their field.
And a lot of them are still learning. Even the most experienced Trainers are still learning on an on-going basis. So I don’t believe you will ever lose credibility by being humble, authentic and honest.
The only time you will lose credibility is when participants and learners realise you are actually lying, making something up, or covering up a mistake.
Showing humility and being able to admit when you have made a mistake, or when you don’t know the answer to something, is a wonderful thing. It actually adds to being authentic and credible.
Being authentic means being who you are and accepting that you are unique and will have a style that will be different to others. Being authentic allows you to make a connection and helps to build rapport and build a sense of community among your participants.
An exceptional Trainer knows the strengths they can personally bring to a training environment, rather than trying to be like everyone else.
They are not trying to be what other people expect them to be.
An Exceptional Expert accepts that being authentic can also increase vulnerability, and they understand that it is OK to be like that.
From "Become a (bigger) Roc2Star" by Alicia Vaughan