Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
There is a difference between saying "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry." Both are important, but you don't necessarily need to apologize if you guessed wrong or your educated guess didn't pan out.
I was completely wrong about how the Seahawks game in Germany would play out. It gave me the perfect opportunity to practice useful communication skill in business.
As I mentioned in the video there are times an apology is necessary, but I've seen far too many people (especially women I've worked with) default to "I'm sorry." Here's what happens when you do that: you take on unnecessary blame and criticism, add pressure on yourself and send a message that you're responsible for any and all failures. That's just not true and it doesn't position you well for future opportunities.
Here's where sports can help us differentiate between "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry." It starts with the question "Who do you think will win the game?" The answer is a best guess and fans get it wrong...
Travel. See the world. Use sports to connect.
Okay, I’ll admit I’m a little biased and still riding the high of being in Germany with the Seahawks. I have missed overseas travel immensely the last couple years. During the few days I spent in Germany I did my best to soak up the culture before working a football game Sunday.
Sports was the connection point. Every Uber driver knew there was a big game in town. Every server knew there were football fans around. The buzz sports created gave me a chance to connect. I learned about national sports from four different countries and answered questions about American football. It was amazing to find similarities with people in another part of the world.
It was also a reminder that we are all connected. Through sports. Through life. Through struggles. When I connect with people I see life in different ways. I see similarities instead of differences and I see a clearer path for better communication and stronger...
Could you imagine having a performance review every week?
Or having to talk about every outcome (good and bad) your team produced in a week?
Even worse, could you imagine pointing out shortcomings and pointing out the losers in the group?
Sounds a little cringy in a business setting doesn’t it?
But as sports fans we do these things all. the. time. It's called cheering. It’s how we talk about games. It’s the criticism we dish out after a disappointing loss when we don’t have any problem calling out the player whose slump is bringing down the rest of the team.
As sports fans, we’re not only capable of delivering feedback we excel at it. And then we clam up when we encounter similar conversations in business. We dread performance reviews. We shy away from tough conversations. We avoid critical feedback.
Here are a few gentle reminders of what sports fans already know:
Feedback is both expected and obvious in sports. The dropped ball, costly...
I’ve spent a lot of time texting with family members the last couple days about the World Series and the Houston Astros. I grew up in Houston. We went to games as a family. My brother and I frequently text about baseball during the season and now my niece and nephew are fans.
For me baseball isn’t just part of my job as a broadcaster it’s something that connects me to my family. That’s the power of sports. It’s the connections and the memories.
Give a sports fan to share some of those this week by using these conversation starters.
No tricks only treats for sports fans Monday because it’s the second Sports Equinox of the month. That means all four major sports leagues are in action on the same day.
The World Series continues in Philadelphia, Monday Night Football takes place in Cleveland and there’s a slate of regular season NBA and NHL games.
All of this means you don’t have to go far to find a sports conversation. Heck, you could even use the Sports Equinox as a starting point. It’s just the 28th occurrence ever. We saw the previous occurrence October 20th and here’s a fun fact, the first Sports Equinox occurred in 1971.
If you’d prefer to talk more about the actual games there’s a full list below.
Hard work pays off, but it doesn’t necessarily speak for itself. You have to be able to articulate your value because the answer to the question: “Doesn’t the company know how hard I work?” is “Probably not.”
Advocating for yourself starts with your communication skills. You don’t need to brag about what you’ve accomplished, but you do need to realize that everyone (including your manager, CEO, Founder, etc…) is busy. As long as a job is getting done no one looks too closely at the effort behind how it got done.
It’s on you to articulate how you affected the outcome.
As you can tell in the video I get very passionate talking about this particular communication skill. There are a lot of things out my control, but I can always control my messaging and the way I talk about my value and success.
If you struggle talking about your successes I get it. My parents taught me that you didn’t need to tell...
Compared to any other time of the year this is the busiest stretch of sports, with the most variety of sports being played. That means it’s not hard to find a sports headline or encounter fans talking about their favorite sport from football to soccer, hockey, basketball and baseball - they’re all in action now.
You don’t have to be up to speed on all the headlines. Fans will be happy to tell you what’s on their mind if you give them the opportunity to engage in the conversation. These conversation starters could help you get the ball rolling.
I had predetermined how the conversation was going to go, and I didn’t do a good job of listening or asking questions.
It’s happened a few times during the busyness of the last couple weeks. I’m not proud of it, and when it happens in small talk it’s not polite but the bigger issue is when it happens in bigger conversations. Over the weekend I caused unnecessary tension and an argument because I didn’t do a good job of listening or asking clarifying questions. I know better. I know how to communicate effectively and even I need a reminder and re-set in doing it.
Small talk is a great place to practice. It doesn’t require a large expenditure of time and training yourself to be a better listener can save you time in the future.
Use these topics to practice in small talk this week.
"What was he thinking?"
"How could the team be so bad?"
"What the heck happened in that game?"
Every sports fan asks questions like these. It's part of being a fan and debating decisions is one way to talk about a game, but not every one wants to dialogue and discuss what happened. Sometimes fans want to vent about a call they hated or a disappointing outcome.
Venting is different than dialogue. There's a place for both, but it's helpful if you share that objective at the beginning of the conversation.
As a sports broadcaster who's in the clubhouse and talking to coaches and managers about the decisions that get made, I can offer insight and have a conversation about why things happened in a game. But that's not helpful if I'm talking to someone who just wants to vent. Telling me at the outset of the exchange saves time and prevents a lot of frustration. In fact, being clear on your objective in a conversations you have with friends, family and...
Drama comes in many forms and sports has just about every kind you can think of. Unpredictable finishes, unlikely outcomes, tension between teammates, and even personal drama that makes it into the tabloids.
It's why fans talk about sports as being the best reality show on TV. I happen to agree.
If you're not interested in talking about the game itself you can talk about the drama around the team. It all counts as sports talk and it's just another way to connect with the people you encounter every week. Here are a few topics that work this week.