How to Respond to ‘I Don’t Know’

How to Respond to ‘I Don’t Know’

  • April 8, 2022

Contrary to some Leaders belief that they ‘’know it all’’. When it comes to our employees responding to challenges during coaching or feedback sessions, they often claim ‘’they don’t know’’.


This is a phrase people use to defer accountability, or other times to evade the effort of finding their own solutions.


As leaders, we have to hold our employees accountable for their personal development or they’ll fail to grow.
If you want your team to self-manage and take accountability, you’ll have to help them think for themselves.


Below are some alternative ways of reacting to ‘I don’t know’:


• What specifically don’t you know?


• Can you think of a time when you were in a similar situation in the past? How did you overcome that?


• Take some time to think it through before you answer


• What have you tried / thought of so far?


• If you did know the answer, what would you say?


Empower your team to work through their own problems and rely less on you to find the solutions on their behalf.



Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson