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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

conversation starters Jun 27, 2022

Welcome to sports conversation starters designed to meet you where you’re at with your schedule, knowledge base, comfort level and interest level this week.

Sporting events don’t always fit into busy schedules. If you’ve only got time for the highlights and high level talking points this list is for you.

Each week I pick a handful of topics I’m confident will get the most coverage so you’ll be growing your sports knowledge base and getting useful nuggets for small talk. So dive in, take a chance and Talk Sporty this week.

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Better Conversation Starters Than "How are you?"

business communication Jun 20, 2022

Habits can be tough to break, especially when there’s no obvious need to change what you’ve grown comfortable doing. Take standard small talk and conversation norms. It’s polite and even expected that the question “How are you?” is part of a standard greeting. No one questions this approach to a conversation, but nearly everyone falls prey to the awkward silence that follows. You know how this goes:

“Hey, good to see you! How are you?”

“I’m good! How are you?”

“Good!’

And then…

The awkward silence generally comes next in the conversation has always been there, but my guess is you had an easier time recovering and filling the void before the pandemic. At least, that’s been my experience. Two years ago, I didn’t have to try so hard to figure out what came next in the conversation and as someone who got “talks too much” on every single report card, I didn’t expect short...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starter Jun 20, 2022

"We should stop apologizing to each other."

I laughed when a colleague said that yesterday. We were probably a half dozen apologies into a conversation in which we were cutting each other off or not hearing correctly. It would have been really awkward if we weren't already friends with rapport. We agreed to stop apologizing... and then proceeded to say "I'm sorry" at least two more times, mostly out of habit.

It takes work and intentionality to break out of any kind of habit including what we say in conversations. If you have a habit of ignoring small talk or not preparing for small talk, here's your chance to change that. This list of sports conversation starters gives you topics that will spark conversation, built rapport and help you make connections. 

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jun 12, 2022

Summer is here (although it doesn't feel like it in the Pacific Northwest!) and you're probably busy relaxing.

It's unlikely you're wasting gorgeous summer days in front of your TV, but there's a good chance you're out and about talking to people. If you need something to generate conversation or introduce a new topic (because you really don't need to see vacation photos from anyone else) here are a few sports topics making news this week. 

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Not Another Email Thread! 3 Questions to avoid the back and forth

business communication Jun 06, 2022

Did you know that research has shown the average person sends and receives 121 emails a day while at work?

Researchers have also determined every time you are distracted by an email it can take 23 minutes to fully get over a distraction.

If your response to that information is, “I don’t have time for that!” We’re in the same boat.

I’m amazed at how many times I say that… and then inadvertently create more work for myself that leads to even more frustration. For example, getting an email I don’t have time for, and then being forced to deal with a dozen follow up messages because every response from me lacks enough detail to be truly helpful. 

Firing off a quick reply to the initial email makes it feel like I’m dealing with it and getting something off my plate but the reality is - I’m creating more work for myself because I’m rarely addressing the actual issue. And I’m much more likely to allow my emotions...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jun 06, 2022

It’s much harder than I expected. I never thought I would feel so tired after talking to people in person every day. I talk for a living for crying out loud! It turns out I’m not the only person in my sports media sphere who feels that way. I had a conversation with a colleague recently who noted how unusually tired he is after small talk in baseball clubhouses.

Small talk is a part of our job. We talk about more than sports with athletes. It’s how we build relationships and get to know people. That’s actually the purpose of small talk. When you approach small talk with intention it’s very beneficial.  And here’s what I want you think about – what are you bringing to the conversation?

This is one of the things my colleague and I talked about, the feeling that conversations require more effort now than before the pandemic. We feel pressure to draw out the stories, tidbits and conversations that further the relationship. And we also...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters May 30, 2022

Sometimes it’s not what you say that makes the most impact, it’s what you do.

Take San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler for example. His frustration over the school shooting in Texas last week and the number of shootings in the United States has led him to skip the National Anthem and stay in the clubhouse when it’s played before baseball games. You can read about how other managers around baseball are responding here. 

It’s easy to “stick to sports” when talking about weekly conversation starters that could be helpful in small talk. There’s a reason I typically avoid highlighting sports topics that are controversial or emotionally charged – that’s not usually a productive approach to small talk.

But this week I want remind you that sports is more than stats and scores because games are played by human beings with feelings.

You don’t have to agree with Kapler’s response. You don’t have to watch baseball...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starter May 23, 2022

We’re heading toward a 3-day weekend and a huge weekend in sports. Even if you don’t normally talk sports, it could be handy to have a few headlines in your back pocket. Just knowing what sports are taking place can help you follow along in conversations and file details away for future use.

Here are a few topics making headlines this week.

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Learn From a Leader: Journaling Personal Interactions

learn from a leader May 22, 2022

Forget about it and move on. That's one way to respond when things haven't gone according to plan, but if we're talking about conversations and personal interactions there's value in pausing to reflect on what happened. Heck, even if things went well there's a benefit to evaluating how you got a favorable result so you can replicate that outcome in the future.

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt goes one step further and actually documents interactions he has with players, coaches and front office personnel so he can learn from them. 

If you're a sports fan you've likely noticed similarities in player and their personalities. Having a game plan based on past experiences can help a coach like Clint connect quicker, respond better, generate buy-in and get an overall more favorable response. 

Coaches aren't the only ones who encounter similar personalities or face the same situations on a regular basis. Think about the conversations you have most often,...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters May 16, 2022

How’s this for a conversation starter: “Can I tell you something that will make your day?”

A colleague actually used that to start a conversation with me a couple weeks ago. That’s a heck of lead-in! If you’re ever in a position to say that, I would highly recommend it. It’s one example of a thoughtful and intentional start to small talk, but you can be intentional with all kinds of conversation starters when you plan for small talk.

Don’t let small talk catch you off guard this week. You know there will be opportunities. Prepare ahead of time and consider using these sports topics as your conversation starters this week.

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