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I'M ONE TO TALK

Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

There are two sports stories making headlines and getting airtime on major news networks this week – Tom Brady and the Olympics. Even the Weather Channel paused their coverage of the blizzard in Massachusetts to talk about Tom Brady. Every time I see non-sports outlets talking sports, I’m reminded just how far sports can reach. Here’s what that means for you:

  1. People who wouldn’t usually tune in to a sports broadcast are getting sports headlines this week by virtue of watching their regular news programs and channels.
  2. They’re likely talking about sports from a business or news perspective, not necessarily outcomes, scores, names, etc…

This means you have even more people primed and ready to talk sporty with you this week. Take advantage. Engage in conversation. Get a different point of view and use sports to build relationships.

Here are a few other topics you can try.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

Communication is the foundation for relationships.

Effective communication starts with small talk. The chit-chat you might overlook is actually the building block you need to build rapport.

Be strategic and intentional with it. Make a plan for how you’ll approach small talk and make it work for you. I suggest you start with sports. These topics make great conversation starters.

And if you’re communicating with a team of people you might be interested in the Conversation Game Plan training session coming up February 25. Click here for details and to register for the training plus a bonus accountability session. It’s a twofer!

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The confusion about "over-communicating"

It sounds like a good idea, but telling your team to over-communicate with you or each other isn't helping.   

Asking your team to over-communicate might lead to more emails, conversations, Slack messages or group texts, but none of that matters if they're not communicating the right thingsIf you're not on the same page it's a waste of time. People who spend time trying to "over-communicate" the wrong message aren't being productive. Of course, they don't realize that until the message doesn't get a response (or the response they were hoping for) at which point they wonder why they wasted their time, and get frustrated and upset. 

Your team needs clear instructions on how to best communicate with you as their manager or leader. 

That means you need to spend time thinking about:

The information you really need. Do you want specific sales numbers or confirmation sales are you? The important information might be obvious to you, but your team doesn't see...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 16, 2022

It’s been a while since I offered specific instructions on how to use this weekly email. In a nutshell, you scan the list, pick a topic and start a conversation.

If you’re not sure how to get the ball rolling, trying picking one topic and asking a yes/no question. For example:

  • “I noticed the Australian Open starts today. Do you follow tennis?”
  • “How about that playoff win for Cincinnati! did you see the game?”

Don’t be afraid of yes/no questions, they’ll help you get to a compatible conversation topic faster. Plus, when you engage with a sports fan they’ll fill in a lot of the blanks in the conversation.

Which one of these will you use this week?

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Learn from a Leader: Believe in Yourself

I love the idea of a fresh start at the beginning of the... and then the “what if’s” set in. Am I the only one? 

Imagining the possibilities is exciting, planning big is inspiring - right up until I have to start taking action and question my own ability to execute. Fear takes over at that point.
 
I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. In fact,  Elaina Morris, President and CEO of Ascend Hospitality Group, says that in her experience mentoring the No. 1 thing that holds people back is fear they can’t execute. 
 
I’m curious, what do you do to move past that hurdle and reclaim your confidence? What conversations help you reset?

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 10, 2022

The Seahawks closed out their season yesterday… and then depression set in. 

I quote that line from Stripes somewhat jokingly at the end of football season every year. I get grumpy when the season ends. I miss practices, game day, game prep, my guys and my colleagues.

All I want to do is be grouchy for a couple days before I regroup and start looking ahead.

What I don’t want are fans trying to make me feel better by saying “at least baseball season is just around the corner.” I’m not looking for a silver lining. I’m not interested in talking about baseball in January and I don’t care that you’re excited about baseball season.

That might sound harsh, but this is a bigger conversation skill that sports can help you practice – empathy. Letting someone feel their feelings without jumping in with your own. Allowing someone to feel frustrated, disappointed, upset or sad without offering a reason they shouldn’t be. It...

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Have we met? It's so nice to connect!

Sports fits my personality. Sports broadcasting fits my skillset. Helping you communicate more confidently is my passion.

Hey there, I’m Jen!

None of my family members or teachers are surprised I choose a career that involved talking, but some days I'm surprised I ended up as a sports broadcaster. There weren't many opportunities for women to work in sports when I was in college, and it certainly wasn't something that was encouraged. 

But I love to compete. That's one of the reasons sports is a natural fit for me. 

 

Finding Ways to Win. 

As a lifelong sports fan, my interest in sports comes naturally. I played multiple sports through high school and when I got college at Southern Methodist University I became an intramural flag football official, which led to a 10-year career officiating high school football and helped lay the foundation for becoming an NFL sideline reporter. I intentionally built a solid sports resume in every job and internship I pursued...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 02, 2022

Establish relationships before you need them.

Practice your conversation skills before they’re necessary.

It’s easy to focus on productivity and the need to get things done heading into a new year and coming off the holiday break. Being productive doesn’t just mean powering through tasks. Don’t overlook the impact other people have on your ability to get things done. The relationships you build (or don’t) affect your productivity. Its why small talk is important and something to prioritize.

Be intentional about striking up conversations with colleagues, clients and employees. If you’re looking for things to talk about these sports headlines can help.

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Talk Sporty 101: Start with Sports

 

Sports is always my go-to conversation starter. Even if I don’t know if I’m talking to a sports fan. I know that uncertainty can make some fans uncomfortable, but sports is truly one of the most efficient ways to spark small talk because the answer doesn’t matter nearly as much as the clarity it provides. 

If I lead with “Did you see the game last night?” I know I’m going to get one of two answers, and quite honestly I don’t care which one it is. If the answer is “Yes” I know I can follow up with another sports question or a question about the game. If the answer is “No” I can ask something like, “What did you have going on last night?” And now I’m into a conversation without playing 20 questions or asking a handful of questions while trying to find something meaningful. Using sports as a starting point made it easier to make a connection and have a productive exchange.

Here’s something...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 26, 2021

This is the time of year for goal setting and predictions. Most people are either making New Year’s resolutions or predicting what will happen in the coming year. For example: Tom Brady will retire in 2022. I’m not saying I agree with that one, but it’s possible….

Here’s what I’m going to throw out there – resolve to get better at small talk and I can correctly predict you’ll become a better communicator. Small talk, as unimportant as it seems, gives you a chance to practice thinking on your feet, talking to people you don’t know well and navigating uncharted territory in conversation. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is a great skill to have as a leader and a communicator. Use these sports conversation starters to practice this week.

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