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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 Jan 15, 2023

All it takes is a Sunday of watching football to realize how judgy I am. I’m not proud of it, but I did find myself making unfair judgements about teams, players, coaches and fans based on what I saw on TV. (As a point of reference, I’m an NFL sideline reporter and rarely have an entire Sunday to watch football but the Seahawks played Saturday and lost so I had a day on the couch to watch football.)

I’ve spent 20+ years in locker rooms and I love my guys, but I can understand why opposing fans might not feel the same way about all the players I’ve covered. I also know from personal experience that getting to know players (i.e. people) on a personal level makes a huge difference. Being willing to engage and cultivate a relationship is the difference between being skeptical and becoming a full-blown fan. 

Let me sum up this personal revelation by saying this – you choose the relationships you have with the people around you. You can choose to get to...

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Make Winning Obvious

In sports it is painfully obvious you need to outscore an opponent to win. 

If you say, "That was a big win!" everyone - even non-sports fans - knows that means one team scored more points than the other. 

Outscoring an opponent isn't a key to the game it is the measure of success. 

Why am I belaboring this point? Because we rarely make it this simple, straightforward or obvious in business. Things get convoluted quickly. There are multiple interests and just like with any game plan, multiple ways to get to the end result. But unlike sports, we rarely make winning as obvious as we should. 

As mentioned in the video, winning looks different for different people. The bottom-line drives decisions, but that means something different for a CEO compared to a manager compared to a direct report. 

That brings us back to Thinking Outside the Box Scores... it should be painfully obvious to everyone on your team what counts as a win. You should be able to communicate...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 08, 2023

Football is too violent for some people. Baseball is slow for others. Hockey doesn’t make sense to one group of fans while basketball and soccer has never been an interest to others.

You don’t have to share the same opinion about sports as everyone else, but you should consider respecting others for their opinion. You might think the conversation is just about sports, but it’s also a chance to practice conversation skills (and maybe empathy) that’s needed in business conversations. You don’t have to agree but try to talk (and listen) to other sports fans this week using these sports conversation starters.

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Goal Setting in 2023. Focus on your Strengths

Not a single athlete looks at a challenge or opponent and admits defeat before playing the game.

Even if the oddsmakers say it’s improbable, even when fans hedge their bets and talk a little less trash or refuse to get their hopes up - athletes and coaches refuse to give into the thought of an insurmountable task or being outmatched by an opponent. 

It’s never about what the other team does or where they’re likely to come up short. They’re always thinking, talking and working from a position of strength and confidence. It doesn’t mean they don’t see the challenges. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a game plan in place to counter the strengths of the opponent. It means they’re focused on their strengths, they’re capabilities and their best chances to win.

The best athletes and most successful coaches don’t assume or anticipate failure before competing.

Where are you starting the year? Are you focusing on your...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Jan 01, 2023

Happy New Year!

It’s the time of year we typically start new habits and routines. You’re already used to glancing through this weekly list of sports conversation starters, but maybe you add one new thing to your Monday morning routine. It could be paying more attention (like actually reading the headline) of a sport you typically overlook. Or maybe you commit to initiating one more sports conversation a week.

Sports fandom doesn’t have to be time consuming. Sports conversations don’t have to be intense. Both fandom and sports small talk can be useful in relationship building at work. Here are topics you can use this week.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 25, 2022

During this holiday season I hope there are more conversations with family and friends than colleagues this week, but regardless of who you encounter these sports conversation starters can help get the conversation going.

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Why You Should be Thinking Outside the Box Scores

Surely you've seen the highlight by now. The final play of the NFL game between the Raiders and the Patriots. The one where New England was heading toward a win. It was almost guaranteed... until a huge mistake at the end of the game that result in an unlikely fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by the Las Vegas Raiders. 

As a football fan, I couldn't believe the end of the game. That highlight will be shown for decades. 

As a business owner, I see the potential for more conversations than just the outcome because I know mistakes happen, but they rarely happen in such a public way. The final play of that game was a HUGE mistake. Everyone at the game and on the field saw it. Millions of other people (fans and non fans alike) have seen the play. It wasn't just a mistake, it was a lack of fundamentals and there was a conversation after the game about accountability and who was responsible for the mistake and ultimately the loss. 

In sports all of that gets...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 18, 2022

I call them conversation starters, but sometimes you don’t feel like talking. Or maybe you can’t get word in edgewise with your family. Or maybe none of your friends want to talk sports at the holiday gathering.

You can use the information in the weekly list to start conversations, but it’s just as effective in helping build your sports knowledge base. I intentionally build on storylines and keep coming back to specific names, teams and milestones to increase familiarity. It shouldn’t feel like you’re starting over every week. That’s discouraging. I want you to feel like you’re adding to what you’ve already heard about.

Whether you’re talking sports or just staying up to date on the latest sports headlines making news this list is for you.

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Conversations About Accountability

business communication Dec 18, 2022

Sports small talk can make it easier to have conversations about accountability with your team at work. 

How? I'm glad you asked and I hope you're ready to think outside the box scores. 

Conversations about accountability happen all the time on game days. They're called post-game interviews and listening with a close ear can help you take the stress out of initiating tough conversations at work. 


Athletes and coaches talk about how they talk about they exceeded expectations or failed to live up to their expectations and standards. The final score helps set the tone for those conversations, but they are a number of stats that support their assessments. With that in mind there are two things you need to do:

1. Know the numbers that measure success. Be specific. It's not pass/fail. If you want to move the needle and have impactful conversations about accountability know your numbers and why they're tied to success. 

2. Use a local or regional team as an...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

conversation starters Dec 11, 2022

You don't have to stick to sports. You can use sports small talk as a jumping off point for other conversations.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did that with his team last week when showing World Cup highlights during a team meeting. Pete used soccer to spark conversations about competition, geography (actually showing them a map of where is county is located) and world events. 

He used something familiar - like competition and sports - to spark conversations that went beyond the pitch and the field.  

You don’t have to stick to sports when using any of this week’s conversation starters. See where this list of topics takes you in small talk.

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