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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 choose to take the ball and start the game on offense or defer to second half and start the third quarter on offense.

There’s no right or wrong answer but there is a philosophical difference in that choice.

  • Taking the ball in the first half is a chance to set the tone right out of the gate.
  • Choosing to defer gives a team the chance to make the most of halftime adjustments and grab momentum at a critical point in the game. 

The choice a team makes isn’t random. There are factors that go into that decision including how the team is built. There is a lot of thought given to which choice leads to the greatest chance of winning the game.

Here’s the question you can ask members of your team – “If you won the coin toss would you want to take the ball to start the game or defer to third quarter?” 

Their answers aren’t random either and if you listen to how they process the scenario you’ll get insight as to how they approach projects and deadlines at work. You’ll have a better understanding of their thought process. 

There’s no right or wrong answer to the question, but if there’s an issue you need to address related to workflow, deadlines, or a lack of effort or intensity during a project this conversation provides a natural segue to a bigger business conversation.

It’s one of the ways you can think outside the box scores and use sports to improve communication and productivity with your team.


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