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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 Apr 21, 2024

You know that realization that you should have followed up and meant to send a note weeks, maybe even months, ago? We’ve all been there and then been in a position of trying to figure out what to say to get back on the radar without things being too awkward.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. State the obvious. There’s no need to lie or to make up an excuse. Be honest in saying that it’s taken longer than you intended to follow up.
  2. Use sports. Hockey and basketball playoffs are underway. That means we’re nearing the end of those seasons giving you a timeline to reference and create natural follow up opportunities. It might sound something like this: 

"It hit me while watching the NHL playoffs that we haven’t connected since the Winter Classic back in January. It’s taken me far longer than I intended to reach out. I’d love to get coffee on the books before we get to the Finals.”

Here are a few other sports topics you can use to spark a...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 14, 2024

I don't spend a lot of time watching golf, but I do spend a fair amount of time reading golf headlines and stories.

In fact, it's how I've determined I'm currently a fan of Scottie Scheffler (which isn't too hard since he's the top-ranked golfer in the world.) You know what else? Reading headlines has given me enough information to engage in plenty of conversations with my golf-loving friends and colleagues. 

The moral of the story is - all you need are a few headlines like the ones listed in this week's list of sports conversation starters. 

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Supporting Superstars and thinking outside the box scores

Caitlin Clark is the most prolific scorer in college basketball history. The records she set at Iowa led to storylines sports fans around the country followed. 

The increased popularity and viewership of women's basketball can be directly traced to Clark. 

Her career and accomplishments have spark countless sports conversations, but here's what I keep thinking about - if it was my job to coach Caitlin Clark, what skills would I need to support a superstar talent? 


Thinking outside the box scores leads us to a different type of conversation altogether, one that could benefit every leader because it's ultimately about the high performers on your team. 

There's no question Clark is highly motivated on her own, but she can't win by herself. No one can. Her individual efforts get a lot of attention, but her team is the reason she won. So think about that in terms of the rising star in your organization and the high performers you manage. How do you create an...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Apr 07, 2024

The solar eclipse is making headlines this week, but I don’t expect to see anything but clouds Monday. I live in the Seattle area where cloudy, drizzly weather is common and highlights how unreliable (and boring) the weather is as a conversation starter. And yet it’s still the fallback for many people in small talk.

Level up those interactions and your conversation skills by having a handful of topics at the ready including these sports notes making headlines this week.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 31, 2024

Sports is a great way to start a conversation – no foolin’!

You don’t have to stick to sports. Go ahead and think outside the box scores by talking about a sports adjacent topic. Top of mind for me are travel plans, favorite ballpark foods and best college memories. The topics listed below can help you springboard into all of those topics – no April Fools!

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Practicing Change and thinking outside the box scores

Athletes train for change because it’s part of the job. They’re going to take the field, court or pitch and be forced to change direction.

It’s rare an athlete gets to run straight ahead unimpeded while doing their job, (the exception being track athletes, of course.)

They expect change, so they prepare for it.

In fact, if you were to watch practices you would discover that most of practice is about making adjustments and changing direction. They anticipate the scenarios they’ll encounter in a game or match and create drills that help them respond effectively.  

Anyone who’s ever played sports would tell you that’s what practice is for.

So how are you practicing for change in your career?

This is another example of using sports to think outside the box scores and have a bigger conversation about preparing for change.

  • How are you training yourself to be resilient and respond effectively when change happens?
  • Do you spend time encouraging your...
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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 24, 2024

I bet your brackets are busted… and I’m willing to bet that’s a good thing, at least when it comes to conversations and thinking outside the box scores.

No one wants to be wrong, but in a low-stakes activity like an NCAA bracket it’s actually a good reminder. You might have done all the research, watched a ton of games and made the most educated guesses of your entire friend group – but you can’t control the outcome of games. That fact alone is worth thinking outside the box scores for this week.

In addition, things that don’t go according to plan often make the best stories and conversation starters. I’m rarely intrigued by the story that starts “Everything went according to plan…”

Just a couple things to keep in mind during small talk this week. If you want more than a busted bracket to talk about, here are a few other sports topics making headlines.

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5 Career Reminders for Your Journey to the Top

career advice Mar 24, 2024

I needed a little bit of a reset, so I set off a few hiking trails with nothing but my thoughts and the sounds of nature to entertain me.

Admittedly, it took about 45 minutes to settle into the peaceful Zen of being outdoors. I wanted to attack the first hike the same way I dive into a lengthy to-do list. Once I surrendered to the feeling of curiosity and stopped checking the time, my thoughts slowed, my breathing deepened and I enjoyed the  journey. I hiked more than 30 miles during a three-day span. It was a way for me to unplug and get away from work, but I couldn’t help but think of the similarities between every journey to the top. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing a mountain or taking the next step in your career. Here are the reminders I came back to multiple times on the trails.

Uncertainty still exists even with a clearly marked path. How many times have you wanted a clearly marked career path, or thought you had one, only to be surprised by twists...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 17, 2024

Several hours of hiking yesterday confirmed what I already knew. I prefer hiking up a mountain to hiking down.

I know it’s supposed to be easier, but my footing feels uncertain and unsteady on the downhill side. And maybe there’s a little something to the fact that I like the challenge of racing to the top.

I don’t want the same challenges in conversations. I want to make interactions easy and make it easier for people to talk to me. That’s why I rely on this exact list of sports conversation starters to get the ball rolling in small talk. Which one will you use most this week?

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 10, 2024

The key to effective small talk is finding common ground. And guess what? Sports works every. single. time.

Before you object and start to overthink this, take this question at face value.

“Did you watch any college hoops this weekend?”

There are two answers: Yes or No. I personally don’t care what the answer is I’m just looking for a clue as to what comes next. If you watched basketball we can talk hoops. If you didn’t, you’ll tell me. You might tell me you watched something different or that you weren’t home to watch sports at all which opens the door to another question and possible small talk topic.

And there you have it. One sports question gets you to a more engaging and productive interaction. That’s the power of using sports to find common ground in small talk. These topics could be useful this week:

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