Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Conversations rarely have all or nothing results, particularly when we’re talking about small talk.
Each exchange gets you a little closer to building a relationship, or communicating a little better, or opening the lines of communication.
Re-setting the expectations for each conversation can help you see short conversations as productive ones. Those interactions can be about sports and these #ConvoStarters can get the ball rolling.
I intended to write this in January 2020. That’s when I originally gathered the interviews inside the Seahawks locker room. Had the Hawks won one more playoff game it would have happened.
I had talked to a handful of players about how they handle self-doubt. My plan was to write something I could go back to when I needed a confidence boost. I procrastinated. The pandemic hit. I lost my mojo. Their insights became even more relevant and valuable, but I couldn’t find the inspiration to write. (Insert palm to forehead emoji here.)
In an effort to get something done I took a look at the stack of papers on my desk (purely to move them to a different stack) and realized the formula for getting back on track and regaining my mojo had been there since January.
I work with NFL athletes. During a “normal” season I spend a lot of time in locker rooms. It’s the most testosterone driven environment you can imagine. What you can’t imagine is that every single...
Labor Day isn’t just a holiday for most people it’s also the unofficial end of summer, it traditionally marks the start of school, and it’s the point in time wearing white or seersucker becomes a faux pax. (If you’re into that sort of fashion advice.)
Here’s what else today can do – get you set up for productive small talk the rest of the week. I know your brain is already going in a million different directions. Trying to think of something interesting (or coherent) can be a challenge, especially if you leave it up to chance during small talk. So, don’t. Brush up on these sports headlines and make it easier to think on your feet the rest of the week.
I talk for a living. Most often, I'm talking to athletes as part of my job.
Those conversations look a lot different these days.
There's no face-to-face interactions, no hugs as we welcome each other back for a new season. There are no casual conversations at their lockers while I make my rounds through the locker room.
All media availability is done through video conferencing and most of my personal interactions are limited to waving or shouting "Hello!" across a football field. Those distanced interactions are better than nothing and important during the current state of a pandemic, but I also feel sad and left out.
Face-to-face conversations are one of the ways I stay connected with athletes, and all the people I work with. I can still do my job, but I wonder about the value I can provide without the same type of interactions. There's a loneliness and tension that's creeped in as a result.
I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm not the only one who's...
My Ten Percent Happier meditation app asked that question every day for a week. Each day I clicked “Next time” because it just seemed like a hassle, like something that would take too much time, like something I didn’t want to deal with.
When I finally chose “Update Now?” it took less than 60 seconds and the app functioned better.
It got me thinking about other “Update now?” scenarios I have intentionally chosen to deal with “Next time.” My attitude is at the top of that list. There are also a few beliefs around work, my value and self-worth that need to be updated.
As leaders you probably don’t have the bandwidth to choose “Update now” for every situation, problem or challenge, but you also can’t select “Next time” every time and expect to maintain team morale, productivity or make a difference as a leader.
Pick one thing you can choose to “Update Now” and give...
Here’s a conversation starter and a challenge… What can you say outside of “good” when responding to the question, “How are you?”
There are literally dozens of words that are more interesting and convey a more genuine emotion than “good.” In addition, your response to “How are you?” directs and guides the conversation.
So, this week challenge yourself to respond with something better than “good.” Ask others about words they’d use in place of “good” and then throw in one of these sports conversation starters.
There's a reason you’ve probably been told to “keep it simple” at some point. It's a reminder not to overthink or overcomplicate the process or the idea.
The advice gets doled out when making goals you actually want to keep, when problem-solving, presenting new ideas, creating new products and even decorating your house.
Here’s another spot to keep it simple – sports small talk.
Small talk with colleagues is not the time to overthink or prove how much you know. Small should be a relationship building activity. You need to be present and engaged in those moments. Keep the conversation starters simple – that doesn’t mean boring - so you can fully engage in what your colleague is saying instead of coming up with your best retort or comeback.
These weekly sports #ConvoStarters are made for that purpose. There’s just enough information for you to engage in a short conversation that simply helps you build relationships.
"What did I miss?"
It's how you might start a conversation that's already in progress and it's an important starting point for every email you send while working from home.
You might think you're at the beginning of a conversation and that your colleague or employee isn't missing anything, but without regular small talk or overhearing conversations at work they're missing pieces of information.
Every email you send is like joining a conversation midstream. Make sure you include details that provide perspective.
Among the many headlines I read in the last week this one stands out:
Here’s the basic premise – no chitchat leads to feeling less connected to colleagues, less productivity and reduced social skills.
Small talk is, in fact, critical to business.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve committed to providing weekly sports conversation starters every week for the last 11 years.
Here’s a list of topics you can use this week.
You've probably noticed I talk about more than sports. There's a reason for that.
As I mention in the video, there's a correlation between sports, communication skills and leadership.
If you're not using sports fandom or sports experience to improve your communication skills or further develop your leadership abilities you're missing out.
Check out some of the blog posts and sign up for monthly or weekly emails. Send me an email: [email protected] if you're ready to provide your team effective communication training with a whole new twist.