It is not uncommon to be asked something that you don’t know. But you can either make or break impression in the way you reply about it. It is easy to discard the question with a blunt reply to your friends but the same manner may look rude and uncaring in a professional environment. Therefore, adopting a calculative approach is necessary whenever you are asked about something that you don’t know, especially at the workplace.

What does the phrase I don’t know means?

Well, the meaning of the phrase is pretty self-explanatory. The phrase is easy to use in the informal scenario but requires a delicate approach while speaking it in the formal environment.

What to Keep in Mind Before saying I Don’t know?

You need to gauge the seriousness of the situation during which you are asked about something. Here are few things that you need to consider.

Willingness to help: – While you may not know any solution, your willingness to help like saying “I don’t know, but I can help you in finding out” shows that you care. You can also redirect them to the right person or source who are likely to provide them with the information that they are seeking.

Know who you are replying to: – Tailor fiting your reply and tone to different people like Boss, friends, Colleagues, aquaintances can help you being perceived in the right light.

Maintaining Professionalism : – At workplace, you may not know few things that you are asked but to show a willingness to learn, help and contribute leaves a positive impression.

Tone : – It will help if you can present your reply with a vibe of confidence and openness. Avoid appearing dismissive or indifferent.

Sincere No Nonsense Replies

I am not 100% sure but let me find out about it and get back to you: – This is the kind of reply to be used when it is expected of you to know the answer. By including “Let me find out and Get back to you” you express that you are willing to make an effort and inform them at the earliest.

“This is outside my area of expertise, but I can recommend someone who might have the answers you’re looking for.” : – Sometimes, you may be asked about something way outside your domain knowledge. By giving an offer to redirect them to the source of the answer, you are expressing team performance who can come handy despite not knowing the solution.

Source : – Dall E. Picture of Male colleague trying to help his team member

Is It okay if I buy some time to be more accurate for the answer that you are seeking for?” : – This reply suggest that you care for accuracy before delivering information to your peers.

Professional Appearing But Humorous Ways To Say “I Don’t Know”

Who says you cannot include humor in your replies at the workplace. If you share great rapport with your colleagues, feel free to use these light-hearted replies for non-serious scenarios.

Hmm. That question is loading in my mental browser for which I am seeing 404 page.

That information is stored in the server room. Unfortunately, I don’t have the access code to it.

Created With Dall E

I’d ask the boss, but I’m pretty sure that’s the quickest way to get volunteered for a new project.

Creative Funny Ways to Express “I Don’t Know” With Friends

As mentioned before, one of the perks of friendship is that you can be blunt and sarcastic at times without giving a second thought. So, next time when the situation comes, feel free to throw the following funny replies instead.

  1. Let me look up to my 24*7 advisor i.e. Google
  2. This answer is unknown to me unless someone makes an offer of just $100.
  3. Unfortunately, I don’t have my crystall ball right now.
  4. The Ram of my brain is currently full. Let some space be freed and then I will look into your matter.
  5. I would tell you but lets just keep it to me for a change.
  6. That’s stored in the part of my brain I only access on leap years.

Casual Alternatives without needing a Second Thought

  1. Who gives 2 cents about it?
  2. Wow! I assumed that you were the offline version of wikipedia roaming on the streets.
  3. No Idea mate!
  4. Do you know Google? Use it!
  5. Not my circus, and certainly not my monkeys. I don’t know and barely care about it.
  6. I don’t have any clue.
  7. Not gonna lose sleep over it.