Please, just once, say: “I don’t know”.


Mr. Know-it-AllThat last post – the drawing of the various ways business can be built or ruined – had me mesmerized. What was the one negative element that really stood out for me ?

Aha ! “Hotel Know-It-All”.

Is there a “know-it-all” in your networking group, or on your team? How can they be recognized? Usually you will know by the 2nd or 3rd encounter.

First of all, they are not “likeable”. They are “annoying”. When you try to convey information, they interrupt, declare they already know that, and proceed to explain how they were personally consulted on the fifth day of creation. Or perhaps you have met the one who goes off “half-cocked” to handle a project and winds up “screwing up the works”.

Secondly, they are unwilling to consider change. Why? Because they already know what works! “Tried that before – it flopped!” “This is the best way to get that done – did it before and it worked like a charm!” Why are WE wasting our time brainstorming??

Thirdly, they seem to have an unlimited storehouse of knowledge on every, yes every, topic !! Many times that knowledge avalanches into an opinion which carries the weight of an edict. Conversation is usually a monologue.

They don’t know the difference between expertise and elitism.

So what next?

Well, if they are a supplier, chances are you will try to find another source. Why? Because, given choices, we opt to deal with people we like and trust. Consequently, you most likely find yourself dealing with the “K-I-A” only if you have no other options.

Fortunately, you’ll find most “Know-It-Alls” to be in a position of authority – but rarely are they the boss. (Thank goodness the “Peter Principle” doesn’t always apply!) They turn out to be the employee that possesses the necessary skill crucial to the business. (How about that !!) However, prudence teaches that they would (or should) have limited or no customer contact unless absolutely necessary. After all, it is your business, and last I checked, customers were the backbone of business stability.

So, there you are at the next business luncheon. The only seat available is at the table with . . .Yep . . . Harvey “K-I-A”. Darn! Just look at the bright side – you will be able to eat your lunch without interruption. Hope you did lots of networking beforehand. You did remember your antacids, right?

As for me, I’m going to seek out a 17 year-old. I’m told that they know the answer to everything and I can’t remember where I left my thumb drive.

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