Admitting that you don’t know something signals self-confidence and sincerity to others. This acknowledgement is not the sign of weakness that so many leaders believe it to be. Only leaders who know very little would pretend to know everything all of the time.
By acknowledging they don’t know something, a leader shows themselves to be human. They become instantly more approachable. The admission fosters real openness and integrity in the conversation. That is a serious strength.
One more step: After admitting what you don’t know, push yourself a little further by engaging the other party with your candor and curiosity. Richard Branson calls these seven little words the most powerful words in the English language for a leader: “I’m not sure, what do you think?”