I recently had a conversation with a colleague about when it is okay to “Fake it”. My philosophy is when I know I’m the minority (whether it is race, gender or age), it’s important that I am always one of the best – if not the best at what I do. I must admit, sometimes that means I have to “fake it till I make it”. You may be wondering what I mean by the term “fake it till I make it”, well here are a few key rules I stand by:
- If I am in a meeting and we are discussing something in my expertise and I’m not familiar with it. I don’t ask questions in the meeting, I always wait until after the meeting and ask a trusted colleague and/or research the topic myself.
- When I am speaking and someone asks a question that is not in my field of expertise and I don’t have the answer. I articulate clearly that is not my functional area, which is why I don’t have the answer and I point the individual in the right direction.
- If I am assigned a stretch project that I need assistance with I always reach out to a trusted colleague and/or friend in my functional expertise for assistance.
I was surprised when I realized the amount of knowledge I have compared to alot of people that have more years of experience than me. I attribute alot of that to my ability to “fake it till I make it”. Even if I don’t know how to do something or I’m not familiar with a specific concept. I always find the resources to learn, rather then taking the stand of “I don’t know” or “I can’t do that”.
Many professionals “act” like they know alot but I have found the more I learned through school and on the job training, I know more than most of the people around me with significantly more experience.
I am not a perfectionist but I do like to be the best! As a minority, I am aware that I am always going to be a target. Therefore, I try to be 110% prepared at all times and if I do get blindsided by anything – I “Fake it Till I Make It”!
What do you do?
Good reading! love it! “Fake it till u make it”. One cannot know everything and there is always room for learning :-). Same things can be said when it comes to dance choreography ect. When you forget a move, you are encouraged to improvise “fake it” until you get in-sync.
great post, tiff! i think the key is in the “make it” part, as you so clearly articulated. too many people now days just stop at the “fake it” when they don’t know something…and keep on faking it instead of learning what they don’t know so that they can better themselves. love your blog…keep posting thought provoking pieces!! =)
Well put. I remember in class one day a Trainer defining it as ‘imitating confidence until it produces success by generating real confidence…’ this made me understand why the term is used in therapy.
I take it as a process of breaking down the state I aspire to, into small manageable pieces so as to offer myself the major one I desire. When I don’t know something Instead of being anxious, getting negative emotions or looking over my shoulders, I imitate ‘the confidence’ (fake it) – you gave good examples on what to do while faking it and with a lot of commitment work on ‘making it.’ Yes, it’s the end that justifies the means – sometimes we tend to live in the ‘fake it’. I guess the challenge is – do we know what we are faking? Any idea when to make it?
Good work Tiff- I love it.