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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.

Talk Sporty Challenge for Your Workweek

“How do you get a coworker to trust you, especially if you’re younger and don’t have as much experience?”

That question came from a high schooler attending a leadership panel I facilitated last week. It was a great question and great awareness for an emerging leader. And I’m not sure I provided the answer she wanted. I told her there’s no one thing you can say to anyone in a single conversation to get them to trust you. It’s true for the athletes I cover and the colleagues I work with.

It takes showing up consistently and multiple interactions to develop trust. Those interactions don’t have to be lengthy. It can be a short exchange in passing, which is why small talk is so important and why should be using these sports #ConvoStarters this week.

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Access the Learn from a Leader Video Library

Leaders never stop learning.

And the best leaders learn from other leaders.

You have the opportunity to do that every single month. Invest in the Learn from a Leader series and you’ll get leadership insights and practical takeaways from a featured leader every month.   

  • Want to know how Amy Nelson, CEO of The Riveter, raised more than $20 million in venture capital? She walked us through how she gained the confidence and comfort-level to ask for money.
  • Curious about best-practices from the Seahawks meeting rooms? Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright pulled back the curtain.
  • Need new ideas on how to brainstorm with a team? Seattle Chocolate CEO Jean Thompson shared the way she does it with her team.
  • Struggling with a risk/reward scenario and looking for advice? Former Seahawk and current business owner, Lofa Tatupu provided two questions to evaluate the outcome.

 That’s just a handful of the leaders who have taken part in the series. You can access all of the...

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Talk Sporty Challenge for Your Workweek

It’s officially the Christmas season and I’m finally on board with Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas shopping and my Christmas pajamas. It’s only a matter of time before I watch Christmas Vacation (again and again.)

Until I brush up on those one-liners I’ll rely on sports as my go-to small talk conversation starters.

And you should too.

Sports is always in season and a way to connect with millions of sports fans.

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5 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills During the Holidays

Overwhelm and gratitude. The two seem to be competing emotions this time of year.

And it's no surprise when you think about the 11 months of deadlines, projects, revenue goals, performance reviews you've dealt with. Not to mention, preparing for everything that comes with the holiday season. 

Here’s a suggestion: Hit pause on the crazy schedule but not on being a leader.

It’s okay to scale back your activity level and it’s possible to continue honing your leadership skills at the same time.

5 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills During the Holidays

Delegate. You don’t have to prepare every meal from scratch, or wrap every single present or complete the holiday errands all by yourself. The best leaders know how to delegate. Practice with your family and friends. 
 
Listen. If you’re usually driving conversations and meetings at work, take a backseat in some of the family conversations. Give yourself space to just listen without feeling...

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Talk Sporty Challenge for Thanksgiving Week

Happy Thanksgiving Week! 

You know I'm a big advocate of small talk, face-to-face conversations and building relationships through daily interactions. 

HOWEVER... If you'd like to minimize or altogether avoid talking to some of your family members this week. I get it. You might want to take a look at this list on how to be part of family gatherings without talking before Aunt Trudy shows up with her jello salad. 

Of course there's plenty of sports to talk about this week and big football games on the horizon. Take a look at this list use the topics with family and friends this week. 

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5 Ways to Avoid Talking to Your Family During Holiday Get Togethers

I love my family, but sometimes I just don’t want to talk to them.

I’d apologize for sounding like a horrible person - but I know you’ve been there too.

I know you’ve experienced some form of family drama, dealt with conversations that get too personal, or been bored by the conversations that go on and on about your second cousin’s wife’s sister who you’ve never met. And if you’re an introvert you don’t need another reason to avoid conversations altogether.

I also know that just because you don’t want to talk to your family doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around them. But If it’s easier not to talk to your family, or limit your interactions, then try these four ways to communicate and connect instead.

5 Ways to Avoid Talking During Holiday Get Togethers

  1. Observe. Communication takes many different forms. You don’t have to be the person driving the conversation. Hang back and observe the room. Use...
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Talk Sporty Challenge for Your Workweek

The Seahawks bye week gave me a chance to sit and watch football all weekend.

So naturally I spent Sunday watching the Red Zone channel, which is awesome and overwhelming all at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the Red Zone it’s a channel that bounces around showing all the scoring plays. Sometimes they’ll stick with a game for several minutes, other times it’s just a few seconds. 
 
It can be a great way to watch a lot of games while I’m doing other things around the house, but even though I’m listening to the commentary I’m not really hearing or remembering what’s been said. 
 
Funny enough, it’s the same way my husband describes conversations with me (at times,) “I listen to everything you say but don’t remember anything.” 
 
I shouldn’t have to tell you (or him!) that’s not the best way to approach conversations with your spouse or your...

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Sports + Leadership + Community

Most athletes will never make it to the pros. But they can all become leaders.

Despite the amount of money pouring into youth programs and select teams the numbers are stacked against athletes, while being stacked in favor of executive leadership.

According to the NCAA, in most sports less than 8% of high school athletes become NCAA athletes and of those collegiate athletes less than 10% will go pro in their sport. Meanwhile, research conducted by Ernst & Young in 2016 showed a disproportionate number of CEOs played sports when they were younger. In fact, 90% of women surveyed among 821 high-level executives participated in sports.

 It’s no coincidence athletes become leaders. Teamwork, collaboration, accountability, communication and the ability to motivate are core competencies of winning teams. It’s true at every level: high school, select, rec-league, college and in the professional ranks. 

Leadership qualities show up everywhere in sports which is why...

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5 Communication Strategies Leaders Should Borrow From Sports

Stats, scores and outcomes.

That’s usually how sports conversations are approached. Throw in an occasional cliché or metaphor and people really think they’re “talking sporty” when, in fact, they’re looking at sports through a very narrow lens.

Sports provides the framework leaders can use to develop effective communication skills. I see this first-hand as a sports broadcaster with nearly 20 years of experience inside professional locker rooms. You see it too because these communication takeaways are evident every time you watch a game – if you’re watching with a critical eye and an intent around developing stronger communication and leadership skills.  

  

5 Communication Strategies Leaders Should Borrow From Sports

Have face-to-face conversations. The field of play is one of the only places face-to-face, real-time interactions are required. Coaches don’t send emails with an in-bounds play. Quarterbacks...

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Conversational Storytelling (in 15 seconds)

“When making a decision, would you rather evaluate as much data and information as you can or be able to visualize the final outcome?”

It’s a question I’ve asked several times recently as part of business communication trainings I’ve given to corporate clients. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s simply a way for me to gauge the audience and to illustrate a key difference in the way people receive and process information.

Are you driven by data or connection?

Data driven people want hard core numbers. They have little use for extra details. Connection driven people want sensory details to help see the big picture.

I run into this issue when talking to my IT guy at work. He’s very data driven. I am not. Sharing numbers and walking away does not solve my problem or lead to a better understanding of the situation. Consider these examples.

Example 1:

IT guy: “Here’s a two-terabyte hard drive for you to use.”

My...

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