Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
We’ve made it to Christmas week (something that didn’t seem possible at various points in the year!)
Whether you’re gathering with family and friends or connecting virtually, you’re likely to have conversations with loved ones this week. There’s also a good chance that not every conversation goes as planned.
But often just having the conversation is a win and a step toward maintaining relationships or building stronger ones.
Embrace the opportunity to talk to others this week, especially if you can’t embrace them in person. You can use these sports conversation starters to get things rolling.
Watching Seahawks practice is part of job, and something I look forward to throughout the season. It’s not as glamorous as watching a game but it does give me some insight – as long as I’m not watching the ball.
It’s a habit I developed when I was high school football official. If you watch the ball as an official you’ll miss what’s really going on.
As I stood at practice this week contemplating the Seahawks upcoming game and my own business planning and goals for 2021 I realized that was one of a few lessons from my time as an official that I still use as an entrepreneur and a broadcaster. Here are three officiating fundamentals I’ve inadvertently incorporated into how I make decisions and set goals for the upcoming year.
I quote National Lampoons Christmas Vacation way too much this time of year. I mean, how could you resist a classic exchange like this:
“Why is the carpet all wet Todd?”
“I don’t KNOW Margo.”
Quoting Christmas movies over and over again is acceptable. Having the same conversation over and over is boring. Even if you mean well by asking, “How are you?” You’re potentially setting up the same basic response, “Good! How are you?” and a boring exchange that doesn’t get you very far in a conversation.
Make sure you have a way to break out the norm. Don’t quote the same opening conversation lines. Use these sports topics in small talk this week (if you get tired of quoting Christmas movies, that is.)
It doesn’t matter who I talk to these days NFL athletes, venture capitalists, C-suite executives, my grandma or my best friend, the topic of mental health frequently comes up in conversations. It sounds different for everyone but most often it’s a question like “How are you handling things?”
It highlights the fact that all of us are dealing with feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness, insecurity and fear. We’re all human.
Years ago I wrote a letter to Lisa Malosky, a sports broadcaster in Houston, professing my admiration for her work and my desire to become a sports broadcaster. I told her that I loved sports and I thought it would be so cool to talk to the athletes themselves. Her hand-written response included these words, “Athletes are people too.”
Twenty years into my sports broadcasting career I know exactly what she meant. I understand the role of empathy in seeing the human side of all people, whether I’m talking to athletes,...
What do you bring to conversations? Joy? Optimism? Thoughtfulness? Pessimism? Anger?
Maybe you haven't stopped to think about it, but your conversation skills are as much a part of your personal brand as anything else. Make sure you're sending the message and convey the values you intend in every conversation.
You can start with these sports conversation starters.
The text read “32 days, 8 hours, 43 minutes until 2021.”
One of my broadcast partners posted it in a group chat yesterday reinforcing there’s a definite desire to just get through this year.
If it feels like you’re just getting by or if what’s next seems like a long way off, reach out to someone and chat. You can start the conversation by using one of these techniques or use these sports conversation starters to open the lines of communication and promote the back-and-forth that strengthens relationships.
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.
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!
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.
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.