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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 Nov 23, 2020

Thanksgiving traditions, like everything else in 2020, will look a little different.

Here’s what stays the same – football and a chance to connect. 

Football is as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey, but the conversations don’t have to be about the game. You could place friendly wagers on guessing the next commercial that comes on TV or the next cutaway shot (camera that’s focused on something other than play or the field of play.) You could use the game as a springboard into conversations about high school glory days, trips you’ve taken to cities involving the games, or even things you’d rather talk about other than sports and football.

Whatever it is, use sports to connect virtually and in person this week.

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Learn from a Leader: Communication and Negotiation

Effective communicators and negotiators know their point of view isn't the only one to consider in a conversation.

It's important to communicate your value, message, solution, strategy, etc... but if you haven't considered how that fits with the objective and point of view of the other person(s) in the conversation you're talking, not communicating. 

Sports agent Kelli Masters explained how this factors into negotiating contracts for the athletes she represents. You don't need to work in sports for this message to resonate. 

If you don't consider or recognize other points of view during a conversation you're less likely to be effective in your communication tactics, as Kelli explains in the video. 

Kelli is a trailblazer in sports and she is now an author. Her first book is available for pre-order High-Impact Life: A Sports Agent's Secrets to Finding and Fulfilling a Purpose You Can't Lose. I've already ordered mine!

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Nov 16, 2020

Every athlete and coach will tell you consistency is key. It’s consistently showing up, putting in the work, performing and communicating.

Consistency pays off when building relationships too. Keep showing up in small talk and use these sports conversation starters to get started.

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Learn from a Leader: Sacred Selfishness

Self care is a popular term, but what if you take it a step further and practice "sacred selfishness?" Leaders need to place high value on taking care of themselves so they can lead others. 

And according to Jonni Ressler, CEO of Eleven 11 Solutions, it's one of the best habits you can develop as a leader.

For me, I’m selfish with the first 60-90 minutes of my day. I use that time to workout, journal, read have a cup of coffee and review my to-do list for the day. It’s the only quiet time I’m guaranteed to get every day so I make the most of it. 
 
What does sacred selfishness mean for you? 
 
Jonni joined the Learn from a Leader series earlier this year. Get access to the full interview and entire library of interviews by joining the series
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5 Ways to Disagree Like An Adult

I originally posted this blog three years ago when it felt like “hot takes” were all the rage on TV. No one wanted to listen, and everyone wanted to yell.

Things haven’t changed all that much, but they should because listening is a leadership skill, as is controlling your emotions, showing empathy and knowing how to disagree like an adult.

I understand there’s a lot going on in the world. The stress and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Emotions are running high.

Great leaders don’t allow their emotions to make an already emotional situation more difficult.

Conflict happens in conversations. Disagreements happen and differing opinions exist. So does a better way of handling those situations.

I talk for a living. I actually talk sports for a living. But more importantly I talk to human beings for a living. After nearly two decades in sports, I’m well-practiced at asking questions, assessing the environment and engaging in conversations. I...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

Halfway through the NFL season I feel (mostly) comfortable with how I’m maintaining and building relationships without stepping foot in a locker room, on a sideline or being able to have in-person conversations.

All the time I’ve spent over the years getting to know the Seahawks players and coaches pays off now when I have to rely on different forms of communication.

Here’s the thing – you can’t maintain a relationship if you never started building one.

Every conversation counts towards building relationships, and every single relationship I’ve built inside the Seahawks locker room started with small talk.

Small talk matters. Make the conversation count. Use these sports #ConvoStarters to get the ball rolling.

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Communication + Leadership: Practice vulnerability

business communication Nov 07, 2020

When you’re emotionally connected you take action. It’s true in relationships, politics and social issues. It also shows up at work in the form of employee engagement. Doing good work might always be a driving force, but the motivation to continue doing good work comes from the connection you have with your colleagues, managers and leaders.

That’s where vulnerability comes in. When you drop your guard, people understand who you are, not just the plan you’re following or the work you’re doing.

It’s one thing to say you’re willing to be vulnerable and it’s another to get comfortable sitting in those moments where you’re really not sure how people will react. 

There’s a way to practice this and get better at showing vulnerability -  ask a question you don’t know the answer to. Like, really don’t know the answer to. The uncertainty in the seconds between that type of question and the answer is...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Nov 02, 2020

I can’t believe it’s November. I also can’t believe my brother hasn’t sent his yearly wish-list email yet. His birthday is next week, and for the last several years he has sent a combined birthday/Christmas wish list to the entire family. At first I thought it was ridiculous, then I found it helpful, now I look forward to seeing it.

I realize you don’t care about my brother’s birthday. Here’s what you should care about - having a strategy that allows you to show up consistently to the point people expect to hear from you.

Once a year isn’t enough to build a business relationship. You need an opportunity to converse or interact monthly and weekly. These weekly conversation starters help with that.

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5 Ways to Ask for Help (When you don't know how)

I’m here if you need me.

You know you can reach out anytime.

Let me know how I can help.

We’ve all said things like this with the very best intentions and we’ve heard our friends, colleagues and business contacts say the same thing back to us.

And yet, when we actually could use a little help we’re hesitant to reach out partly because it’s a vulnerable ask especially if the help we need is pulling ourselves out of a funk or getting past strong emotions during a pandemic.

How do you even start the conversation when you’re already overwhelmed, sad or frustrated. You’d like to know you’re not alone without feeling rejected if you don’t get a response. You certainly don’t want to impose on someone and add to their stress levels.

Here are ways to initiate a conversation when you need help, support or just a quick pick-me-up.

5 Ways to Ask for Help When You Don’t Know How 

Revisit a previous experience/conversation. ...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Oct 26, 2020

The date caught me off guard.

It shouldn’t have, I look at the calendar every day but yesterday I realized this is the final week of October. Then I realized how much I had planned to get done but am still hustling to finish before the end of the month. Things I thought would be so easy to accomplish now feel like a grind. How often has this happened to you?

How often does this show in up in your conversations? That Zoom catch-up you meant to schedule, the long overdue call home to check in in on family, the follow ups you intended with clients.

Busyness and overwhelm can trump best intentions. Build those conversations and storylines into your regular interactions by using sports small talk.

You don’t need lengthy conversations to stay in touch, you do, however, need touch points.  A quick email or text that says, “Wow! What did you think of how that game ended?” or “That was a big win for your team yesterday.” Is a way to stay in touch,...

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