Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
How do you find your voice?
It’s a topic I’ve shied away from in the past because I didn’t have a good answer and quite honestly wasn’t even sure if I’d found mine. Unless the question was directed at finding my voice as a broadcaster. I know how that came about.
I remember how unsure I felt early in my on-air career at hearing the sound of my own voice. It’s a weird feeling, even if it’s the job you’ve prepared for and the role you’ve always wanted. Hearing yourself on TV or radio sounds different that you might and it’s unnerving.
I felt pressure to say the exact right thing and to sound like a broadcaster in the process. As a result, I didn’t sound like myself, I wasn’t connecting with the audience and I was too preoccupied to enjoy the moment and just have fun.
It took time, years as a matter of fact, to find my voice as a broadcaster both in what I said and how I said it. It took being on TV every day...
All of those Zoom meetings you have are they spur of the moment or are they scheduled?
My guess is they’re planned. There aren’t many spur of the moment interactions these days and that works to your favor in being able to prepare for small talk.
You’re not randomly going to bump into a colleague in the hall, elevator or coffee shop but you’ll see them on your regularly scheduled meetings. Knowing that makes it easier to prepare and brush up on small talk topics this week.
What if you practiced diplomacy in conversations where emotional responses are the norm? Like in sports small talk.
It’s common, expected and even encouraged that sports fans react emotionally to outcomes that affect their team or favorite player.
But what if you changed the tone of the conversation this week and choose a more diplomatic way to describe your enthusiasm at seeing a division opponent or rival lose on a last-second play? (Or your joy at watching Tom Brady lose track of the downs during a Thursday night loss to Chicago.)
What if you practiced controlling your emotions in conversations and scenarios where emotional responses are acceptable?
What if that carried over, not just in your conversations but in how others started interacting with you?
What if it all started with these sports conversation starters this week?
As a keynote speaker my favorite part of any presentation is seeing the "ah-ha" moment. Recognizing when the audience has heard the message in a new or different way. It's exciting and it's gratifying to watch a message land.
As a leader you want to see those moments happen with your team. There's just one thing you should remember, each member of your team is at a different point in their journey. Just because you've had a light bulb moment doesn't mean you can trigger that for someone else if they're not ready.
According to Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wager, it's part of the self-awareness needed to be an effective leader. The short video explains more.
Commit to listening to the people around you, identify where they're at in their journey and then see where you can help and what you can learn.
There are a number of conversation skills that impact your ability to be an effective communicator.
Controlling your emotions is one of those skills.
You can be convicted, passionate and well-intentioned but if you can’t control your emotions while conveying those sentiments the message you’re trying to convey will get lost in the emotion you display.
I realize emotions get the best of us sometimes and sometimes you just need to vent and get something off your chest. I also know that whatever you communicate most consistently will shape the perception people have of you and what it’s like to work with you.
For example, If you’re an unbearable jerk after your football team loses, you’re not going to be able to convince colleagues that won’t be your response to a poor outcome at work.
That’s the easy example. Sports always is.
Which is why sports small talk is a good place to practice the conversation skills you need in bigger moments...
The news headlines just keep coming. Thankfully so do the sports headlines. There are times they overlap (i.e. positive COVID-19 tests in the NFL), but there are just as many opportunities to focus on the game, outcome, matchups, big performances, individual efforts, coaching decisions, standings, etc….
Sports can be an outlet, escape and a conversation starter that works in small talk this week.
I'm afraid my conversations the last few weeks have lacked words of kindness. It’s not that I was rude, I just found myself holding back and withholding words of encouragement, kindness and support out of my own frustrations, insecurities and stress.
Whatever the reasons, words of kindness go a long way in building a relationship. Being kind shows up in a lot of different ways, including showing an interest in what your colleagues want to talk about – even if it’s not a particular interest of yours.
Sports small talk can open the door to building relationships and words of kindness. Here are a few #ConvoStarters you can use this week.
Conversations rarely have all or nothing results, particularly when we’re talking about small talk.
Each exchange gets you a little closer to building a relationship, or communicating a little better, or opening the lines of communication.
Re-setting the expectations for each conversation can help you see short conversations as productive ones. Those interactions can be about sports and these #ConvoStarters can get the ball rolling.
Amid the chaos of 2020 it’s time for wine.(And I’m not just talking about the glass I pour for myself at the end of most days.) It’s harvest season.
It will be a long time before the grapes being harvested now are in my glass. It takes time for grapes to become great wine. There’s a process.
Great always takes time. It’s true in wine and it’s true with people. Great success, great understanding, great talent all come after repeated attempts and experiences.
At this point you’re either nodding your head or rolling your eyes, because it’s obvious to you based on where you are in your career.
But what about your interns, or the younger people on your team, the newcomers to the organization or the industry? When talking to those people do you remember the time it takes to be great and the time it took for you to get to where you are in your career?
One of the ways to do...
It’s not just the start of another week, it’s the first work week with NFL games to talk about since February.
I’m not just pointing that out because I’m the sideline reporter for the Seahawks. I make mention of it because the NFL is the most popular sports league in the United States. Football fans are dying to talk about their favorite team, favorite player, coaching decisions and game outcomes. This works to your advantage in two ways:
The sports schedule provides built-in opportunities to stay on the radar and continue building relationships, so do these sports Conversation Starters for the week.