It's perfectly okay to say "I don't know, let's research this together."
As a senior engineer or a technical team lead, it's perfectly okay to say "I don't know, let's research this together."— Celestine Omin (@cyberomin) October 3, 2017
Along with my reply:
Being Senior/Lead doesn't mean you know everything, it should mean you have super 'this is how to find out' skills though! https://t.co/jEL9Cf0Wxd— Robert Wray (@robertwrayuk) October 9, 2017
Started a chain of thought for me, around the subject of what it means to be a "senior", or a "lead". To me, it's not about being better, knowing more, knowing everything (although, if you meet anyone who claims that, run, run for the hills!), it's about knowing how to know. I know that's a torturous use of English but it best describes the point I'm trying to make. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can know a particular piece of information. Being able to take a problem and find a way to solve it, that's a skill. Being able to guide someone towards a solution, rather than telling them how to solve a problem, that's a skill. The best teachers I had, each and every one of them, guided me towards answers rather than serving them up on a platter and I think it's really important to develop that skill when you're in a position to guide others.
The best way to learn is to teach
By embracing that sentiment you'll not only be developing those around you, but you'll also make yourself better. It's a win all round, right? Not only that, but the process of discovery, as alluded to in the tweets I've referenced, will often mean that you learn something new yourself, as part of an experience you share which will help the knowledge to "stick" because of it being a shared experience.
If you're in a leadership role, ask yourself "when was the last time I guided rather than told". If the answer isn't "very recently", perhaps that's something you could consider changing?