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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 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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I Cook, You Measure Updates

i cook you measure Mar 10, 2024

It's taken far too long for me to update all the things, but you can now find every episode of I Cook, You Measure along with the ingredients lists and wine pairings right here on the website

Catch up on episodes you've missed, find a couple fun facts about each show and use the ingredients list to recreate the dishes on your own. 

And did you know there's even more on YouTube? 

We record about an hour of footage and conversation for each episode and not everything makes the final edits, but nothing lands on the cutting room floor. The stories and laughs are just too good not to share. We call them "Bonus Bites." 

There are some fun nuggets, lots of personality and some good insights shared in the Bonus Bites episodes for each show. Dig in and let me know what you think. 

And get ready for the announcement about Season 4. It was shot on location in Arizona during Spring Training so we'll have your baseball fix soon!


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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Mar 03, 2024

Controversy isn’t usually my thing, especially to start off the week, but this hot take is relevant to your career and conversations this week.

The 40-yard dash is a terrible way to predict the success of NFL players.

And yet sports fans are going to be talking about the fastest 40-time in Combine history this week. (It’s the first item on our list of sports conversation starters.) The drill is for show and entertainment purposes. It does not directly translate to football because at no time will any player ever line up during a game and run unimpeded in a straight line for 40 yards. It’s part of the evaluation process, but it’s not the number one predictor of success.

This is where conversations can get interesting this week and give you a chance to think outside the box scores, as I like to say. You can focus on the record-setting number or you can lead into a bigger conversation about how you evaluate talent on your team at work and what activities truly...

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Thinking Outside the Box Scores - NFL Combine Conversations

business communication Mar 01, 2024

The 40-yard dash produces some of the best highlights of the NFL Combine. 

It's the most-talked about drill but it's not necessarily a good representation of an athlete's value or skillset. When you see the highlights or hear someone talking about the Combine consider how you can spin the conversation toward business topics. For example:

  • Are you evaluating talent based on the entertainment factor or the value factor?
  • What's the drill that best showcases your skillset? 
  • What skillset is missing from your team?
  • What does your next best employee look like?

Here are a few other things to consider when Thinking Outside the Box Scores:

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