Saturday, September 26, 2009

When you don't understand something, do you admit it?

You know when you're talking to someone and you can tell they don't understand or know what the heck you're talking about? I know that person, it used to be me. If someone was talking about an author or a political topic I was clueless about, I'd just nod my head and try to find a way to switch subjects. I still do this on occasion, but now I usually make it a point to 'fess up or ask questions when I'm lost. 

I experienced a good example of this about a year ago when I was in a room with a group of people learning how to use a new content management system. It was obvious that one girl wasn't quite catching on because every time I asked a question, she would quickly repeat part of what I said as if it were her own. For example, Me: "So can we use both formats on this system?" Her: "Yeah, both formats?" Like, it wasn't even a full question. She did it several times–it was pretty funny. I did feel badly for her though—she didn't learn what I had a while ago: Trying to disguise ignorance will only showcase it.

I can empathize though; I still struggle with insecurities about not feeling smart enough.

Click here to learn about the most random word I know. And here to see what I think about intellect snobs.

Tell me: Have you ever pretended to understand something even when you were totally clueless?

1 comment:

  1. i can totally relate to this! haha even in class I did it. If I ddn't study much I would just try and answer as best I could. I think it also has a lot to do with how you speak, the key is always confidence lol make them believe you know what you're talking about as though you really know everything.
    Then yes, try to switch it everynow and then while throwing a few questions for them to interact. I always did the questions, and in a way i did that to actually verify some stuff but i made it a point as though I already knew the answer even if i ddn't lol