Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
How’s this for a conversation starter: “Can I tell you something that will make your day?”
A colleague actually used that to start a conversation with me a couple weeks ago. That’s a heck of lead-in! If you’re ever in a position to say that, I would highly recommend it. It’s one example of a thoughtful and intentional start to small talk, but you can be intentional with all kinds of conversation starters when you plan for small talk.
Don’t let small talk catch you off guard this week. You know there will be opportunities. Prepare ahead of time and consider using these sports topics as your conversation starters this week.
Hot mic moments. I think we've all had them at some point in the last couple years with as much as we've spent logged on to virtual meetings, conferences and happy hours.
You know how cringe-worthy those moments can be. And I know the dangers of having a hot mic moment on live TV. Up until recently I'd never had one, but after 22 years in sports broadcasting, it happened. And I actually wouldn't mind if it happened again because it showed that practice what I preach.
It's important to practice for conversations and interactions big and small and that's exactly what I was doing.
The conversations you probably need to practice these days are the ones taking place face-to-face and in-person. Transitioning back to an office is a different dynamic than what we've gotten used to in the last couple years. And here's what people miss - talking to people in person is not like riding a bike. It is a not a skill you learn once, come back to and pick up right where you left...
I don't have time to be emotional. Heck, in my line of work I can't afford to be "emotional." As a woman working in sports that's one of the quickest ways to lose respect and become the "problem" everyone has to deal with.
For years I tried to control my emotions. Nearly every sporting event and game I participated in growing up resulted in me being told to get better at controlling my emotions.
I tried. I got a little better, but ultimately I failed because it's not about controlling emotions it's about harnessing them. There's a big difference. Mental Performance Consultant Dr. Chantale Lussier provided insight during a Learn from a Leader conversation.
Sports is a great place to recognize the value in harnessing emotions. If you're already a sports fan you've seen players lose their cool, get into their own heads and minimize their effectiveness during games as a result of not being able to harness their emotions during games.
The same thing happens in...
The NFL Draft dominated headlines during the weekend. Most of what you heard was stats driven. “Experts” using athletes’ career numbers to project how they’ll fit in and impact their new teams.
As someone who spent part of the weekend covering the draft from Seahawks headquarters, it’s always the communication skills that stand out to me. Here’s what happens in the media room after a selection is made: we all look at the pre-draft write ups and career stats, then the player calls in and we get 10-15 minutes to ask questions.
It’s amazing how that first impression can lead to loving a selection or having doubts as to if they’ll be successful in Seattle.
In theory their college careers should be enough to convince the scouts, front office, media and everyone else they’ll be successful. But that’s not the way it works. The way they show up in a conversation is critical to the impression they make and how people...
Sure, there are leadership aspects that come through in the jobs you've held and the responsibilities that go along with those roles.
Your skillset is important, but credibility is built through relationships.
When Quandre Diggs arrived in Seattle via trade in 2019 he'd been in the NFL four years. He came from Detroit where he had been a starter and amassed over 200 carer careers. He was a proven talent but he couldn't walk into the Seahawks locker room and assume the role of a vocal leader. As the sideline reporter for the team, I can tell you he is definitely one of the loudest voices in the locker room and he'll explain how he earned that opportunity in the video clip.
It's a good example to follow for anyone joining a new team or trying to take on a larger leadership role. As Diggs said, "It's knowing where you fit in, but you have to have a realistic sense of where you fit in."
Be willing to do the...
NBA forward Kevin Durant admitted to “thinking too much” during Brooklyn’s playoff series against Boston. The Seattle Kraken players, a team I cover, have recently lamented not playing a simple game. And just about every baseball player facing a critical moment in the batter’s box will talk about the importance of not trying to do too much with a pitch.
These are all ways of saying, “Don’t overthink it.”
I’m going to encourage you to follow that advice this week in small talk. Don’t overthink it. Start the conversation. Trust that you can navigate whatever comes next and remember you can keep it short and to the point. Just 30-seconds will do. Heck, if you use the sentences listed here you’ll be halfway through the 30-second interaction.
You don't want more communication. What you want is more effective communication, right?
Isn’t that what you actually mean when you tell your team to communicate more?
I’ve worked with a number of clients recently and sat in on a lot of meetings focused on “more communication.” There are a lot of good intentions in that message, but the results of those meetings frustrate my clients most. Inevitably it leads to at least one person sending a meeting request after the meeting and another starting an email chain that takes anywhere from 12-24 emails to resolve.
More meetings and more emails don’t automatically solve communication issues. It feels like you’re taking action, but what’s the point if you’re not actually communicating.
Don’t leave your team hanging on what “effective communication” or “more communication” looks like. It might seem obvious to you. As a leader you’re taking a 30,000...
If you’re already a baseball fan you know the Major League Baseball season is 162 games. That’s just the regular season. It doesn’t count Spring Training games or playoff games. If you’re thinking, “Wow! That’s a lot of games.” You’re right – and that works to your advantage whether you’re a fan a not.
More importantly the baseball schedule works to your advantage regardless as to if you watch the games. Here’s what I want you to be thinking about – connection points and relationship building.
Before we go any further, let me back up a second and set the stage for this type of gameplan. I’ve been part of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast for 15 seasons. It is my job to be at, or watch, most of the Mariners baseball games throughout the year. Baseball is part of my job.
I’m all for more people watching baseball, but I also know it’s not necessary to watch every single game. You can...