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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 Apr 30, 2023

For all the game film, combine stats and draft profiles, nothing gives you a sense for a player like a conversation. 

I spent the weekend covering the NFL Draft for the Seahawks. I talked to each of the 10 players selected and each of those interviews and conversations provided a more dynamic picture than any of the highlights I saw or articles I read. The interactions added context and personality to their accomplishments. 

There’s more to athletes than their productivity. The same is true for you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your work will speak for itself. It does not. The NFL Draft is proof of that. 

Be willing to engage in a conversation, about anything, to give your colleagues a more dynamic picture of you. These sports conversation starters can help this week.

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Conversations about Culture, Teamwork and Team Outlook

How confident are you that your favorite NFL team will make the right hiring choice during the NFL Draft? 

There are a lot of opinions online when it comes to mock drafts and predictions. Most of them focus on football. That makes sense because the NFL has turned the Draft into a three-day prime-time televised event, but at its core the draft and all the workouts, Pro Days and the Combine are all part of a hiring process that plays out in a very public way.   

Here's what this means for you: there's an opportunity to have productive business conversations that you might not be able to easily broach in your normal day-to-day interactions. 

Football fans are talking about the draft. Casual sports fans are aware of the draft. Use that to your advantage. When you use topic that is top-of-mind and direct the conversation towards specific business challenges, discussions and interactions that's Thinking Outside the Box Scores. 

When I tell people to use sports in...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 23, 2023

There’s more than one way to participate in a conversation. Being an active listener is just as important as anything else in an interaction. It’s also one of the easiest ways to build your confidence - both as a conversationalist and in relationship building.

I see it happen all the time in big league clubhouses. The newcomers aren’t usually the ones driving the conversations. They’re hanging back, listening and warming up the space. 

Here’s what that means for you – just show up. 

Be willing to interact. Small talk isn’t about having all the answers. Small talk is about making connections and building rapport. These sports conversation starters can help – even if you didn’t spend the weekend watching sports.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 16, 2023

You already know I think of sports conversations as a way to connect. I also think of them as a way to practice skills I know I need in other areas of my life.

If you're looking for ways to shine in big moments you should be finding ways to practice in small ones.

Accepting change or leaning into change is something I could always do better. And you know what? I've done that in the last couple weeks and if you're a baseball fan so have you! Almost 3 weeks into the season you've not only heard about the new rules across the major leagues you're probably already used to them. That's change management. That's accepting and leaning into change. Gold star for you! 

If you're not quite there, this reminder from the Spring Training for Your Career series could help. 

As for this week's conversation starters, there's no need to change a good thing. Here's the list you can use to get the ball rolling in small talk.

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Coasting or finishing?

Golf is not a sport I watch with a lot of intensity, but I'll often watch the end of a tournament and the fanfare of the final few holes. Which got me thinking outside the box scores about how to approach a finish line, whether it's a golf tournament, sporting event or a project at work. 

If you're not a sports fan, "running out the clock" is something a football team could do. A team that has the lead, the ball and very little time on the clock might do the bear minimum (almost like going through the motions) until the clock ticks down to zero. There's no reason to give extra effort. There's no reason to run an extra play. The game has already been decided and both teams are just waiting until they can leave the field. 

It doesn't work that way in golf. The outcome might have been decided on Hole 16 or 17 but the round is still 18 holes. The winner, and everyone else for that matter, has to play out the round, and there is incentive and pressure to finish strong. 


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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 09, 2023

After 20 minutes of responding to fans on Twitter I gave up. There was no point. I’m not a huge fan of engaging in “conversations” on Twitter to begin with and when the interactions involve frustrated fans it’s usually an exercise in futility because I can’t actually gauge the reaction.

Words on a screen don’t mean nearly as much as talking to someone in person.

Maybe that’s a personal preference, but there is definitely something lost in translation between typing a response and hearing a response in person. This is your encouragement to stop reading between the lines and start having in-person conversations. These sports conversations starters can help with small talk this week.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 02, 2023

Women watch sports. Women play sports. Women are sports fans. 

Typically, I use this space to give subtle reminders about ways to be strategic with small talk and sports conversations. Today it’s a straight up, ALL CAPS, reminder –WOMEN ARE SPORTS FANS.

I have worked in sports 22 years, and yet, I still encounter people who are surprised to discover there are women who passionately follow sports, not to mention work in sports.

So, allow me to offer these reminders…

  • If you’re not talking about the women’s NCAA Tournament this week you’re missing out. TV ratings were up more than 40% from last year.
  • Last Thursday was the most-watched Opening Day in Major League Baseball history. You know who was part of the fan base? Women.
  • If you are not using these weekly conversation starters to engage with ALL sports fans, you are missing out.

And with that, I’ll step off my soap box and allow you to continue.

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So you're saying there's a chance...

Opening Day and the start of every sports season brings unrivaled optimism that "This could be the year..." 

The promise of Spring Training, the hype around new players, and a win-loss record that hasn't yet reflected the actual talent on a team, gives fans hope. Even if there is misguided optimism and unrealistic expectations (most) fans enjoy the feeling that anything is possible for the season. 

As a fan you've probably rolled your eyes a few times at friends who insisted their team had a legit chance to win the championship as a long shot. You might have even argued the finer points of expected wins, off-season moves and games lost to injury. But you can't deny the optimism that exists at the start of every season, when each team starts with a clean slate and anything seems possible. 

Let me ask you this... when was the last time you felt the same about your career or your business? 

We laugh, roll our eyes and dismiss the enthusiasm of fans, but we should...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 26, 2023

Every conversation has the opportunity to be productive... if you're strategic and intentional. When you go into a conversation with a plan you're more likely to meet your objective.

This weekly list of sports conversation starters isn't just to help keep you in the loop, it helps me plan for conversations and think through the types of small talk I know I'll encounter. It's not about how much sports you've watched (which for me this weekend was zero because I spent time with my grandparents) it's about the connections you're willing to make in a conversation. 

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Something Sounds Different

I didn’t think it was a big deal and quite honestly I wasn’t sure why anyone else did either.

Being part of a TV broadcast is nothing new for me and something that happens every single day during the baseball season. Being part of an all-female broadcast team during Spring Training this season was a new experience. 

Heading into the broadcast I was most excited to work alongside very talented women I call friends. At dinner the night before the game I expressed my dismay that people were making a big deal out of it. After all, I pointed out, we go to work every day and do the same thing we’ll be doing tomorrow. It shouldn’t be a big deal that we’re on a broadcast together. Except it was. And here’s what drove that point home the day of the game – every single voice I heard, both on the air and behind the scenes, was female.  

Here's why that was so significant, in college I was told that men don’t want to hear women...

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