In the last 18 months I’ve gotten pretty good at both hearing and saying, “I don’t know.” Sometimes it is the best answer, and sometimes it’s the only answer.
It’s not always comfortable to admit you don’t have an answer, or that you don’t know any more details. This is one of the ways sports conversations can help, it’s a low stress, low-leverage way to practice not having all the answers.
If you get asked about the score of a game you didn’t watch saying “I don’t know. I didn’t watch the game,” is a great response. (It’s also the correct one because you shouldn’t try to fake your way through a conversation.) Sports small talk is a great way to practice a skill you need in bigger conversations. In the grand scheme of things no one cares if you watched the game but being able to confidently say “I don’t know” is a skill you need in business conversations.
Give it a try this week and arm yourself with a few sports things you do know like these conversation starters.