Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Small talk isn’t just about being polite or finding something to say before a meeting starts. It’s the beginning of conversation that could unlock creativity, new ideas or inspiration.
Those are all things that could be lacking while working from home. If you’re missing some of your mojo. If ideas aren’t coming to you as easily as they once did, try having a conversation with someone else. It doesn’t even need to be about work or the problem you’re trying to solve.
One comment can lead to a different thought and a way to unlock your mojo and creativity.
If you’re looking for small talk topics this week, try these sports headlines.
Better communication shouldn't be interpreted as longer emails or more meetings.
Be careful about extolling the values of "over-communication" with your remote team because longer emails and more meetings don't mean better communication.
You still need to communicate your message in a way the other person (or people on your team) hear and process the information. More often than not, it's shorter, bite-sized nuggets.
Here's a concept we frequently use during TV broadcasts - 3-sentence summaries. Take a look.
Functionality over cleverness today.
It’s important to stay in touch with people. You need things to talk about. There are only so many conversations about grocery store shortages, death rates, flattening the curve and social distancing we can take. (I know I’m at my limit!)
In the event that you are too, and even if you’re not, here are a few sports topics you can use in small talk on those video calls and virtual meetings this week.
That means they have no idea what to make of some of the emails you're sending.
Consider a note that says, "Call me when you get a chance." You know your motivation is to check in and see how your team member is coping with the work from home dynamic, but they don't know that unless you tell them. And until they know what the conversation is about, they're likely to jump to conclusions and stress out over the all the possible things you want to talk about because it's human nature to jump to the worst-case scenario.
Clarity is kindness, especially when sending emails in a work from home setting.
This is just one of the things to consider when communicating with remote teams. Download the the FREE e-book Communicating With Remote Teams for...
We’re going into week four of zero live sports on TV and my husband has decided the new go-to background TV programing is Food Network. Apparently me cooking every day is not entertaining enough. He has never once watched the food prep for his own dinner from start to finish. I digress.
We’re not the only ones changing our viewing habits. Everyone is looking for new things to watch and different things to talk about. Quite a few athletes and sports fans are entertaining themselves with virtual sports and still finding new sports headlines like these to talk about during the week.
"How are you?"
In "normal" times it's the appropriate thing to say when starting a conversation and part of the script we follow by default.
These days, that question is asked with sincerity and best intentions, but I'm willing to wager the answers fall short of expectations.
"How are you?" is the equivalent of me, a sports broadcaster, striking up a conversation with a player by saying, "Tell me about the game." I fully expect the athlete to look at me, shrug and then say, "What part of the game do you want me to tell you about? The beginning, the middle, the end, the role I played, the effort of my teammates, the adjustments we made because of the opponent?"
(If he or she doesn't do that, they're being far too polite, because that is a terribly unprepared way for a reporter to start a conversation with an athlete.)
What happens if you don't have any answers as a leader?
What happens if there's no playbook that outlines the next right steps?
What do you if you find yourself leading during a crisis?
Many leaders are grappling with those questions right now as they deal with the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. Everything seems to be uncertain. Everyone seems to be making best-guess decisions while filtering through the latest information.
When crisis strikes, leaders lead. It doesn't matter if there's a playbook or if they have the answers. The best thing they can do is understand their response helps shape the reaction of their team.
The response of a leader helps shape the reaction of their team.
It's a lesson Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner has learned during his career and one that applies for every leader in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Like the kind that happen when you bump into a colleague in the hallway, or the chit chat that takes place in an elevator.
Stay at home and work from home orders have changed the way we operate and the way we think about daily activities and interactions.
In many cases physical distancing has actually increased social connections because we’re all becoming more intentional about reaching out for those conversations and interactions.
Continue reaching out. Find things to talk about. Use sports as a connection point with fans and use these sports #ConvoStarters this week.
“The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” George Bernard Shaw
I couldn’t say it any better George.
I know exactly what he’s talking about. You probably do to. There’s also a good chance you’re starting to feel the strain or tension around communicating with remote teams – especially if this is a new dynamic for you or your team.
We get caught in a push-pull. Wanting to make sure we stay in communication leads to sending more emails, lengthier memos and scheduling more meetings. We start believing more words or more interactions lead to better communication. In reality it’s ensuring we are overwhelmed by emails and meeting requests and creating the illusion communication has been accomplished.
As businesses, managers and employees across the country adjust to a new work dynamic here are few things to keep in mind.
Life without live sporting events doesn’t mean we don’t have sports to talk about. There are still stories making headlines and an opportunity to take a break from other, more serious, conversation topics.
We’ll keep providing a list of sports conversation starters as long as there is something happening in the world of sports.
In addition, we’ve created an online training Communicating with Remote Teams. It’s a 30-minute webinar designed to help you communicate more effectively while working remote. The session takes place Wednesday, March 25th at 7:30am PT. Get more details and register here.