Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Don't Know

It has been a while since I posted.  I work for a company that specializes in Halloween and Christmas supplies.  Halloween is over and we are heading toward 8 weeks of Christmas shipping.  I am trying to juggle more than I can handle.  One of the direct results from my schedule has been a temporary absence from the blogosphere.  I would love to announce that "I'm Back!" but I foresee sporadic posting until the beginning of December.

The following topic has come up at work in the last few weeks.   Often I overhear employees respond to questions from the boss with a shrug of the shoulders and "I don't know".  When I hear the words I cringe.  It is not because of the "I don't know" part.  It is because the words are not followed by a "but..."

but I will find out.
but I will look into it.
but I will let you know.

Other responses could be...

Let me get back to you.
I will get you the information you need.

The same is true for the karate instructor.   When students ask a question, it is ok not to know the answer.  The amount of knowledge to acquire while learning a martial art is endless. There is always something to practice, read, learn and explore. Similar to my work example, "I don't know" could be followed with:

but let's find out.
but we can research the topic.
but let's explore the question.
and so on...

In fact, "I don't know" opens the door to new learning opportunities.

Enjoy your training!

Thank you to the readers and followers of this blog.  I appreciate your comments!


Journeyman said...

Great point, Michele. I can't tell you number of times an interesting question has turned into a whole class of discovery and experimentation.

Michele said...

Hi Journeyman! Thanks for commenting. I know what you mean. It is one of the things I like best about studying karate. :)

Charles James said...

Pride, ego and status tend to put Sensei into a mode of "I must know everything ... now."

You make some very good points that have plagued the dojo for decades, both here and in Asia.

No one is infallable, no one is all knowing and all of us at every level are subject to "not knowing the answers," but as you put so well we all, all of us at every level, have the tools to "find out the answers."

Well done, love the post!

Michele said...

Charles James: Thank you!

BBat50 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BBat50 said...

My approach to trying to balance work and dojo and family and blogging is that can't be done. All things in their season but there are some seasons when you can't keep up in all your spheres. I just relax, admit that I'm going to drop some balls in whatever area, and make plans for how long it'll last and how I'll make it up later.

No worries. And when you do get back to blogging, stop by my martial arts blog: a Black Belt at 50.

SenseiMattKlein said...

So true Michele. The ego gets in the way of admitting that we don't have all the answers, but it's absolutely refreshing when someone admits they do not know, but will find out.

Students sometimes ask me a question like, "will it work with the other arm or leg?" I tell them "I do not know but let's workshop the technique and find out for ourselves."