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

Thinking Outside the Box Scores - A toss of the coin

business communication Jan 30, 2024

Super Bowl prop bets are a favorite conversation starter for me leading up to the big game. For as much as I enjoy talking about the game itself, the prop bets take the conversation in an entirely different direction.

If you’re not familiar with a prop bet its side wager on parts of the game that have nothing to do with the final outcome. For example, you could place a bet on who will be the Super Bowl MVP, the first song performed at halftime, the length of the National Anthem or whether the coin toss will be heads or tails.

It’s the questions around the coin toss that can lead to interesting conversations with colleagues and reveal their approach to things like project management and productivity. 

I realize it might sound like a stretch, (after all, how much strategy comes into play when making a decision with 50-50 odds?) but the conversation is less about heads or tails and more about what happens next. 

On game day the team that wins the coin toss can...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 28, 2024

I totally play favorites when it comes to sports. If you’re a fan I guarantee you do too.

I don’t share the same affinity for every team, every sport or even every conversation starter.

I’m sure you have favorites too whether we’re talking about the Super Bowl matchup or this list of sports conversation starters. And here’s the most important part, it’s not about being right or wrong it’s about being proactive in the conversation and offering up a piece of information that creates a productive interaction.

There are plenty of sports headlines to talk about. This time of year I will always lean toward football because it really does create the most opportunities with the most amount of people, but any of these topics will work this week.

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Football. Your perfect conversation starter.

Sports fans once again made television history by watching Kansas City defeat Buffalo in the divisional playoff game.

More than 50 million people tuned into the game making it the most-watched divisional playoff game in NFL history and the first divisional playoff game to top 50 million viewers. 

Kansas City won the game and advanced to the AFC Championship game for a sixth straight year, but two of the biggest storylines and talking points among fans had nothing to do with stats from the game.

  • Some sports fans just liked the drama. (The outcome was decided in the final two minutes of the game.)
  • Many Buffalo fans commiserated in another heart-breaking playoff loss. (Google “Buffalo Bills wide right” and you’ll know what I mean.)
  • Other fans were entertained by seeing Taylor Swift and Jason Kelce celebrating and cheering together in a suite. (I’m sure you’ve heard by now that T-Swift is dating Jason’s brother Travis.) 

There are...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 21, 2024

Last week I read an article about journaling and loved the idea of this journal prompt: What story-worthy experience happened yesterday?

Essentially it’s a different way of asking, “Did you do anything interesting yesterday?”  

As a journal prompt it’s a great question. As a conversation starter it’s probably a non-starter. So is every other weirdo, off the wall, out of left field question. Catching people off guard in small talk doesn’t lead to conversation. It leads to confusion and an awkward interaction.

Here’s what I recommend -ask a question you know they’ll have an immediate answer to. Something like “Did you watch the playoff games?” “Did you see who won the golf tournament?”

Even if the answer is “No” the follow up is much easier than trying to redirect a conversation that was sidetracked before it got started – especially if you brush up on these sports topics making news this...

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Three Ways to Stand Out at Work

You’ve set goals.

You’re targeting professional milestones.

You’ve crafted a plan for success.

Does it include ways to be more visible at work with your managers and even your colleagues?   

Your work and the effort you put in at work are only part of being successful. Increasing your visibility directly impacts your compensation and opportunities to advance your career. 

Letting your work speak for itself leaves a lot of room for interpretation and quite honestly results in a lot of missed opportunities every single day.

Standing out at work doesn’t require you to take on more work. It’s not about being the first one to the office and the last one to leave (or log off.) It doesn’t mean you have to brag about everything you’re working on.

Your visibility at work comes down to - being strategic and intentional in your interactions. Here are three tangible ways you can stand out every day: 

 1. Do what you say...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 14, 2024

I have seen and experienced all range of emotions in the last week as both a sports fan and someone who works in sports.

The passion I’ve seen is a great reminder as to why sports small talk can be a powerful way to connect. Fans care about sports. This isn’t the weather. It’s not just something to fill the time between getting off work and going to bed. Sports fans are invested. When you tap into that passion you’re not just talking about sports. You’re learning about what interests, drives and motivates the people around you and that’s critical for communication, leading and being productive at work. 

Don’t overlook small talk as a way to connect especially when you use these sports topics this week.

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Five Leadership Lessons I Learned First-Hand from Pete Carroll

Having a front row seat to the winningest coach in Seahawks history was something I never took for granted. I also never expected to learn so much about leadership and communication.

I’ve been the Seahawks radio sideline reporter for the last 15 seasons. I talked to Pete regularly for pregame interviews, during press conferences and when we bumped into each other at the facility. I can attest to the fact his energy never waned. What you saw on TV was exactly what we saw every day. After watching him throughout his tenure these are the five leadership lessons that stand out for me.

Leadership can be fun. If you were to ask Pete Carroll he would say football should be fun and he regularly told his players that if it wasn’t fun he was doing it wrong. It’s one of the reasons he blared music at practice and held free throw shooting competitions during team meetings. Pete proved to me that “fun-loving” could be and should be on the list of great leadership...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 07, 2024

Whether you created goals, resolutions or intentions for 2024 I’m willing to bet that meeting them and following through on them require communication skills. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum and your talent and want-to are part of the equation, so are your communication skills.

So with that in mind use small talk to build the skills you need for bigger conversations. Be intentional with how you approach small talk and what you want to get out of interactions because all of it can help you reach your goals/resolutions/intentions this year.

These sports conversation starters can get the ball rolling this week.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 31, 2023

Records were made to be broken and  every streak comes to an end.

Last week was the first time in more than decade I didn’t post a version of conversation starters. It was somewhat of a last minute decision and an opportunity I’d been looking for.

I pride myself on consistency, but I wanted a little bit of a break and I wanted to alleviate the pressure of keeping a streak alive.

Here’s something to consider as we start the new year focused on new habits, goal-setting and creating new opportunities - the streaks you stop are just as important as the ones you start.

And here are few sports topics you can consider in small talk this week.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 17, 2023

You’ve got enough going on this week. No need to create more work for yourself, and that includes in your conversations. A few conversation starters will make small talk easier and more productive. If you’re stuck coming up with a few, these sports topics can help.

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