Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
My Ten Percent Happier meditation app asked that question every day for a week. Each day I clicked “Next time” because it just seemed like a hassle, like something that would take too much time, like something I didn’t want to deal with.
When I finally chose “Update Now?” it took less than 60 seconds and the app functioned better.
It got me thinking about other “Update now?” scenarios I have intentionally chosen to deal with “Next time.” My attitude is at the top of that list. There are also a few beliefs around work, my value and self-worth that need to be updated.
As leaders you probably don’t have the bandwidth to choose “Update now” for every situation, problem or challenge, but you also can’t select “Next time” every time and expect to maintain team morale, productivity or make a difference as a leader.
Pick one thing you can choose to “Update Now” and give...
Here’s a conversation starter and a challenge… What can you say outside of “good” when responding to the question, “How are you?”
There are literally dozens of words that are more interesting and convey a more genuine emotion than “good.” In addition, your response to “How are you?” directs and guides the conversation.
So, this week challenge yourself to respond with something better than “good.” Ask others about words they’d use in place of “good” and then throw in one of these sports conversation starters.
There's a reason you’ve probably been told to “keep it simple” at some point. It's a reminder not to overthink or overcomplicate the process or the idea.
The advice gets doled out when making goals you actually want to keep, when problem-solving, presenting new ideas, creating new products and even decorating your house.
Here’s another spot to keep it simple – sports small talk.
Small talk with colleagues is not the time to overthink or prove how much you know. Small should be a relationship building activity. You need to be present and engaged in those moments. Keep the conversation starters simple – that doesn’t mean boring - so you can fully engage in what your colleague is saying instead of coming up with your best retort or comeback.
These weekly sports #ConvoStarters are made for that purpose. There’s just enough information for you to engage in a short conversation that simply helps you build relationships.
"What did I miss?"
It's how you might start a conversation that's already in progress and it's an important starting point for every email you send while working from home.
You might think you're at the beginning of a conversation and that your colleague or employee isn't missing anything, but without regular small talk or overhearing conversations at work they're missing pieces of information.
Every email you send is like joining a conversation midstream. Make sure you include details that provide perspective.
Among the many headlines I read in the last week this one stands out:
Here’s the basic premise – no chitchat leads to feeling less connected to colleagues, less productivity and reduced social skills.
Small talk is, in fact, critical to business.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve committed to providing weekly sports conversation starters every week for the last 11 years.
Here’s a list of topics you can use this week.
Thought leadership is more than being seen as an expert. It's a way to drive business. An ongoing study by Edelman and LinkedIn found:
"Companies with the best ability to produce timely, thought-provoking thought leadership content are much more adept than their competitors at capturing their customers’ attention and turning that attention into positive results."
Positive results for a company = sales.
Positive results for you as a leader = influence and power to persuade.
Thought leadership isn't reserved for a select few at the top of a company. Anyone can contribute by being thoughtful, timely and persuasive in their messaging.
It's a lot like being a newspaper columnist. Well written columns are designed to get you to think and persuade you to see a different point of view. Jerry Brewer, sports columnist for The Washington Post does this on a weekly basis. He joined the Learn from a Leader series in July to describe how he approaches thought leadership and...
“I’ve got better things to do than watch sports.”
It’s feedback I’ve received from a few anti-sports fans in the last couple weeks.
I get it. Watching hours of sports isn’t for everyone (especially if it’s not your job.)
But here’s what those folks aren’t getting – it’s not about the time you spend watching sports, it’s the space you create for others to talk sports that makes sports talk valuable at work.
The sports outcomes aren’t as important as the outcomes you create in building relationships.
And you already know brushing up on your sports knowledge doesn’t require hours in front of the TV, you’ve got this weekly cheat sheet to help out.
You've probably noticed I talk about more than sports. There's a reason for that.
As I mention in the video, there's a correlation between sports, communication skills and leadership.
If you're not using sports fandom or sports experience to improve your communication skills or further develop your leadership abilities you're missing out.
Check out some of the blog posts and sign up for monthly or weekly emails. Send me an email: [email protected] if you're ready to provide your team effective communication training with a whole new twist.
A good friend called me with a question, “A friend and former colleague is recommending for a job at his company. Should I apply for it?”
Before I had a chance to say, “Of course you should. Why wouldn’t you?” she launched into her pro/con list. The answer still seemed obvious to me, but she remained on the fence.
“Why wouldn’t you trust a friend’s recommendation?” I finally asked. “What’s the point of building relationships if you’re not going to trust them or allow them to be beneficial?”
My friend joked about her naturally distrusting personality, but the point remains.
Asking for help when you need it.
Seeking honest feedback from mentors.
Brainstorming with colleagues.
Following the advice of a trusted friend.
Staying on the radar of an advocate.
Fans are hungry for sports.
The proof is in the ratings. The Opening Day matchup between the New York Yankees and defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals was views by an average audience of 4 million people. It is the most watched regular season MLB game since 2011.
And sports fans don’t just want to watch games, they want to talk about them. “Did you see the game last night?” makes a great conversation starter so do these sports topics making headlines this week.