Spend time with exceptionally smart, accomplished people and one thing will quickly become clear: when they don’t know the answer to something, they have no problem just admitting it. Acknowledging that something falls outside their realm of expertise simply doesn’t bother them because they don’t feel the need to prove how smart they are. To anyone. Ever.
This is true in both their personal and professional lives.
“I don’t anything about that.”
“Sorry, that’s not an area I’m familiar with at all.”
“I’d have to research that before I could give you an answer.”
The next time you run into a “know-it-all,” just ask yourself why they’re so intent upon convincing you that they’ve got all the answers.
[Hint: it’s probably not because they’re confident. In fact, it’s probably the exact opposite of that.]
Confidence is rooted in knowing that one has done their homework, that one is prepared and is capable of delivering.
Arrogance is rooted in insecurity, in knowing that one has failed to prepare, that one can only hope of scaring others off.
People hate arrogance, but they love confidence.