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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 Jun 12, 2022

Summer is here (although it doesn't feel like it in the Pacific Northwest!) and you're probably busy relaxing.

It's unlikely you're wasting gorgeous summer days in front of your TV, but there's a good chance you're out and about talking to people. If you need something to generate conversation or introduce a new topic (because you really don't need to see vacation photos from anyone else) here are a few sports topics making news this week. 

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Not Another Email Thread! 3 Questions to avoid the back and forth

business communication Jun 06, 2022

Did you know that research has shown the average person sends and receives 121 emails a day while at work?

Researchers have also determined every time you are distracted by an email it can take 23 minutes to fully get over a distraction.

If your response to that information is, “I don’t have time for that!” We’re in the same boat.

I’m amazed at how many times I say that… and then inadvertently create more work for myself that leads to even more frustration. For example, getting an email I don’t have time for, and then being forced to deal with a dozen follow up messages because every response from me lacks enough detail to be truly helpful. 

Firing off a quick reply to the initial email makes it feel like I’m dealing with it and getting something off my plate but the reality is - I’m creating more work for myself because I’m rarely addressing the actual issue. And I’m much more likely to allow my emotions...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jun 05, 2022

It’s much harder than I expected. I never thought I would feel so tired after talking to people in person every day. I talk for a living for crying out loud! It turns out I’m not the only person in my sports media sphere who feels that way. I had a conversation with a colleague recently who noted how unusually tired he is after small talk in baseball clubhouses.

Small talk is a part of our job. We talk about more than sports with athletes. It’s how we build relationships and get to know people. That’s actually the purpose of small talk. When you approach small talk with intention it’s very beneficial.  And here’s what I want you think about – what are you bringing to the conversation?

This is one of the things my colleague and I talked about, the feeling that conversations require more effort now than before the pandemic. We feel pressure to draw out the stories, tidbits and conversations that further the relationship. And we also...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters May 29, 2022

Sometimes it’s not what you say that makes the most impact, it’s what you do.

Take San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler for example. His frustration over the school shooting in Texas last week and the number of shootings in the United States has led him to skip the National Anthem and stay in the clubhouse when it’s played before baseball games. You can read about how other managers around baseball are responding here. 

It’s easy to “stick to sports” when talking about weekly conversation starters that could be helpful in small talk. There’s a reason I typically avoid highlighting sports topics that are controversial or emotionally charged – that’s not usually a productive approach to small talk.

But this week I want remind you that sports is more than stats and scores because games are played by human beings with feelings.

You don’t have to agree with Kapler’s response. You don’t have to watch baseball...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starter May 22, 2022

We’re heading toward a 3-day weekend and a huge weekend in sports. Even if you don’t normally talk sports, it could be handy to have a few headlines in your back pocket. Just knowing what sports are taking place can help you follow along in conversations and file details away for future use.

Here are a few topics making headlines this week.

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Learn From a Leader: Journaling Personal Interactions

learn from a leader May 22, 2022

Forget about it and move on. That's one way to respond when things haven't gone according to plan, but if we're talking about conversations and personal interactions there's value in pausing to reflect on what happened. Heck, even if things went well there's a benefit to evaluating how you got a favorable result so you can replicate that outcome in the future.

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt goes one step further and actually documents interactions he has with players, coaches and front office personnel so he can learn from them. 

If you're a sports fan you've likely noticed similarities in player and their personalities. Having a game plan based on past experiences can help a coach like Clint connect quicker, respond better, generate buy-in and get an overall more favorable response. 

Coaches aren't the only ones who encounter similar personalities or face the same situations on a regular basis. Think about the conversations you have most often,...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters May 15, 2022

How’s this for a conversation starter: “Can I tell you something that will make your day?”

A colleague actually used that to start a conversation with me a couple weeks ago. That’s a heck of lead-in! If you’re ever in a position to say that, I would highly recommend it. It’s one example of a thoughtful and intentional start to small talk, but you can be intentional with all kinds of conversation starters when you plan for small talk.

Don’t let small talk catch you off guard this week. You know there will be opportunities. Prepare ahead of time and consider using these sports topics as your conversation starters this week.

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The Hot Mic Moment I Didn't Mind at All

business communication May 14, 2022

Hot mic moments. I think we've all had them at some point in the last couple years with as much as we've spent logged on to virtual meetings, conferences and happy hours. 

You know how cringe-worthy those moments can be. And I know the dangers of having a hot mic moment on live TV. Up until recently I'd never had one, but after 22 years in sports broadcasting, it happened. And I actually wouldn't mind if it happened again because it showed that practice what I preach. 

It's important to practice for conversations and interactions big and small and that's exactly what I was doing. 

The conversations you probably need to practice these days are the ones taking place face-to-face and in-person. Transitioning back to an office is a different dynamic than what we've gotten used to in the last couple years. And here's what people miss - talking to people in person is not like riding a bike. It is a not a skill you learn once, come back to and pick up right where you left...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters May 09, 2022

It's not the amount of time you spend in small talk that makes the difference. It's the effort you put into it. 

Be intentional and strategic and use these sports topics to get the ball rolling. 

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Learn from a Leader: Emotional Bandwidth

I don't have time to be emotional. Heck, in my line of work I can't afford to be "emotional." As a woman working in sports that's one of the quickest ways to lose respect and become the "problem" everyone has to deal with.

For years I tried to control my emotions. Nearly every sporting event and game I participated in growing up resulted in me being told to get better at controlling my emotions. 

I tried. I got a little better, but ultimately I failed because it's not about controlling emotions it's about harnessing them. There's a big difference. Mental Performance Consultant Dr. Chantale Lussier provided insight during a Learn from a Leader conversation. 

Sports is a great place to recognize the value in harnessing emotions. If you're already a sports fan you've seen players lose their cool, get into their own heads and minimize their effectiveness during games as a result of not being able to harness their emotions during games. 

The same thing happens in...

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