Never, Never, Never Bluff.
Admit You Don't Know And Go Find The Accurate Information.

Bluffing is a benign form of lying. It is pretending you know, when you don't. Eventually you will be found out because in the words of a crusty old Oil Company executive, "You can only push crap in front of you so long until you step in it!"! When unmasked you will find that the price you paid was your integrity. This is a huge price for a very small reward (feeling important for a brief moment). Getting away with it a few times is unfortunate because it may convince you that bluffing is OK, and it isn't. Once you start bluffing all your creative talents are siphoned away to keep the bluff alive. 

In my experience I have seldom been thought less of by admitting I don't know, and then immediately going to an accurate source and finding out the truth. Often it doesn't take that much time. Admitting to not knowing is not a confession of stupidity, only that you don't know the answer. 

If you are a bluffer, giving it up starts with a commitment to not bluff. Like a bad habit, you must practice the right way (not bluffing) long enough to convince yourself that it's a better way. Eventually it becomes the normal thing to do. 

Another way this guideline expressed is; "It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt".

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved