Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
You can encounter any number of tough conversations throughout the day in your professional and personal life. We all approach those interactions differently and often bring our own baggage into the exchange. It’s not intentional it just comes with the territory when you encounter real emotions from a real human being.
Or as I often think about it -when you see the real humanness in someone.
It’s something I think about every single time I walk into a locker room after a loss. I’m an NFL sideline reporter and I’ve worked in professional locker rooms for more than 20 years. It’s my job to get interviews after every single game win or lose which means some weeks I have up to six tough conversations in a 30-minute time frame immediately after a loss.
There is a lot of emotion surrounding 53 pissed off, frustrated, disappointed and exhausted men.
None of them really want to see me walking toward them with a microphone. All of them understand...
When it comes to small talk if you yourself don’t want to answer the question (or can’t answer the question) you’re asking, you should probably change your approach.
If you don’t want to talk about your Thanksgiving weekend you might not want to ask someone else about theirs, because there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to flip the conversation back to you thereby forcing you to have a conversation you didn’t want to have in the first place.
If it’s difficult for you to answer a question about your favorite Thanksgiving or holiday tradition it’s best to rethink the question you would ask.
If you’re looking for a broader conversation topic this week, start with sports. Even a yes/no question like “Did you watch any games this weekend?” can lead you to a number of different conversations.
Here are a few sports headlines making news this week that you can use to spark small talk.
Conversations on Thanksgiving usually take care of themselves, but just in case you need a few additional topics these sports notes are just the trick.
When you’ve had your fill of football and turkey consider a cooking show binge-fest of I Cook, You Measure presented by Safeway. I’ll drop a new episode Friday!
Season 3 of I Cook, You Measure presented by Safeway and sponsored by Ascend Hospitality Group is our Championship Season. Every guest measurer has won a title. Here's who you'll see on the show:
Also new this season - Bonus Bites available immediately after the full episode posts. That means you don't have to wait to see more of the conversation - and laughs - that didn't quite make it into the final cut of the show.
If you would like the ingredients lists and wine pairings from each...
The interactions that stood out most to me last week weren’t long and some weren’t even in person, but they all included an element of unexpected kindness. It was a short text from a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while, a stranger saying "Hi" at the grocery store. Someone going above and beyond to say something kind.
The most impactful interactions don’t have to be lengthy conversations. You can make an impact through your sports conversations by reaching out to a fan whose team won a big game and text “That was a great game this week.” It’s a simple way recognize someone and their interests. If you want something more specific here are a few topics making headlines – and conversations – this week.
No one tells you how to build relationships inside a locker room. Come to think of it nobody tells you how to build relationships in general.
Sometimes it’s easy and comes naturally. Other times it feels more daunting - often because we’re overthinking and overlooking the actual building blocks for a relationship.
Over the years I have established business relationships through traditional networking means. I’ve attended events, sent follow up emails, met for coffees, scheduled happy hours and connected on LinkedIn.
But I don’t do any of those things with the athletes I work with every day because that’s not how you build relationships inside a locker room.
I build relationships 30 seconds at a time and often one word at a time.
If someone would have laid out this plan 20+ years ago when I first started working in...
Well my game Sunday did not go according to plan. All week we talked about the potential defensive battle between the Seahawks and the Ravens, only to see the Hawks badly beaten and not much defense to speak of for Seattle. It’s definitely not what I expected.
I’m already preparing for a lot of conversations about what needs to be fixed this week. I’m also preparing for small talk – and a chance to talk about something other than the Seahawks game – by using these sports topics this week.
We’ve changed things up a bit! This is more than a holiday costume we’re going to give this new look a try for a bit.
Halloween costumes/parties will dominate conversations for a couple days, but make sure you’ve got something new to talk about like any of these sports topics making news this week.
It’s always a great week to talk sports in my book, but this is an especially good one. The NBA tips off this week which means each of the Big 4 sports - football, basketball, baseball and hockey - are all in action for regular season games and Friday’s slate of sports includes all of them. Think of it as National Talk Sporty day.
Also in the mix, MLS playoffs also start this week. I know I don’t need to sell you on the idea of using sports to spark conversations or join in on small talk, but maybe knowing just how many fans are engaged and in tune with sports this week gives you a little more confidence in those conversations.
And with that here are a few sports topics you can use this week.
I resisted the urge to say what I really wanted to say after being confronted by a non-sports fan a few weeks ago. Not only was he not a sports fan, but was clearly and vocally irritated at those of us in the bar watching and cheering during a recent college football game.
“You know they can’t hear you, right? There’s no need to yell. Did you even go to that school that you’re cheering for?”
Instead of pointing out he was in a bar with multiple TVs intended for sports viewing, I turned said, “Actually, our friend right there did go to Stanford and we’re cheering for his alma mater.” There was more muttering and passive aggressive comments about how dumb sports fans are, but few heard what he was saying because we were cheering too loud at the big comeback.
There are a couple things I want to point out from this exchange, starting with the fact it was a guy who was opposed to sports, sports fandom, cheering for sports and sports...