ran an incredible Space yesterday that went for 8+ hours. There was tons of great conversations— you should definitely follow Deer Point.
There was one specific dynamic I was reflecting on this morning:
No matter how much research one does on a topic, when engaging in public discourse on platforms like Twitter and Commonstock, there will always be someone who knows more than you do. This isn't a bad thing— it's actually the main reason to engage on these platforms: to find other smart people and learn from their expertise.
But because this is the case, it requires one to have a certain balance of confidence and humility. You have to be able to present your points confidently AND be ready to admit when you hit the limits of your understanding.
The thing I noticed about the Twitter Space yesterday was how good people were at communicating when they had reached their limits.
It struck me that this is a skill one learns through experience in order to keep the conversation quality high. Admitting where you lack knowledge increases credibility for where you do have knowledge. Additionally, when you admit ignorance it invites someone with more knowledge to engage. You win because you fill gaps in your knowledge and you also make other people look good. Positive sum dynamic.
With that spirit in mind, I wanted to offer up some of the vocabulary I heard yesterday. If you internalize some of these phrases and are quick to use them in situations where you have reached the limits of your expertise, I think you will find yourself leveling up as an investor, a speaker, and as a general human being 😊
How to Say "I Don't Know"
- I'm not an expert, but this has been a recent interest of mine
- I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that but 'xyz' person would be great to ask
- I'm actively learning about this, I'm all ears if you have expertise to share
- I have my personal thoughts, but I'm not sure they'd be useful to you
- I am ignorant on the subject
- That's the limit of my understanding
- Here’s what I know and here’s what I don’t know…
- Based on my understanding, I believe that…
- I don’t have the foggiest idea.
What are effective ways you say "I don't know?"