Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
I’m glad Simone Biles captured the attention of the world and shined a light on the importance of mental health. She helped spark conversation around the immense pressure athletes are under to perform and the stress that goes along with being the best in the world.
I’m encouraged fans were forced to look beyond Biles’ impressive personal accomplishments and see her as a human being.
I only wish every fan could accompany me into a locker room so you never forget athletes are people and we’re all human.
It’s a message I heard a decade before I set foot in a professional locker room when I wrote a letter to a local sportscaster I adored in Houston. I told her how much I loved sports and how I thought it was so cool she got to talk to athletes. I was surprised when Lisa Malosky took the time to write back. She encouraged me to pursue a career in sports before I even knew it was possible. She agreed the job was cool but she included these words I’m...
If there’s one universal takeaway from the Olympics over the last week – it’s that sports isn’t just about the outcomes. Sports can be used to tackle much bigger conversations, like mental health. Simone Biles is a tremendous athlete, the best in the world at what she does. And she is human just like you and just like me.
Sports at its core is about coming together as human beings and being part of a community, whether you are a community of athletes or a community of fans. You can use sports to be rude, divisive, and controversial or you can use sports to bring people together.
I hope you will choose the latter and use these sports conversation starters to build relationships in small talk this week.
It’s hard not to think about what’s next. A sentiment shared by young prospects throughout baseball and sports in general. But what those athletes inevitably learn, either on their own or when the game humbles them, is that it’s important to be where your feet are and focus on what you can control.
There’s a difference between preparing for the future and trying to live in it. High-performance psychologist Michael Gervais calls being present a form of self-mastery and it’s a leadership skill you can practice and learn.
Friendly reminder – people want to be heard. They want to know their opinion counts and that what they say matters. It’s one of the biggest reasons anyone posts on social media. You might not agree with what anyone is saying on social media, but you can’t deny the fact that people want to be heard.
Give at least two people that opportunity this week. Start a conversation with the intent of truly hearing what the person has to say.
I probably don’t need to tell you to choose your conversation starter wisely. Small talk should be used to build relationships, not destroy them. The thing someone is ranting about on social media probably isn’t a good place to start. A neutral sports topic is a much better option. Here are a few headlines you can use this week.
You can do anything for 30 seconds.
It’s a favorite saying for fitness instructors and personal trainers everywhere.
That encouragement always seems to come right before telling you to do something you don’t want to do or don’t think you can do. Then, after 30 seconds of more burpees than you really wanted to do, you’re done.
In other words: You can get more done in 30 seconds than you think, and it will be over before you know it.
It’s true in your workouts and when it comes to talking to people in person. If, after more than a year of working from home, you dread the thought of small talk and having conversations in real life then reframe what a conversation actually is.
A conversation doesn’t have to measured in minutes or hours. It can be measured in seconds. Especially in the context of small talk, casually bumping into someone in an elevator, seeing a colleague in person for the first time, the conversation with the waiter at...
The cartoon made me laugh for how accurate it is in my house, but it's also a reminder that it takes a little work to start a conversation with someone.
Don't put the onus on them to make the conversation work. (And if you do, don't be surprised if you get a two-word answer.)
Instead, make a plan, prepare for conversations ahead of time and have a conversation starter ready that will actually lead to an interaction. These sports conversation starters are ideal for small talk this week.
People follow people not plans.
Sports fans connect with personalities not stats. It’s an athlete’s willingness to show who they are that creates that connection. Their game-day actions and results are only part of that equation. Their personality really comes through in interviews and 1-on-1 interactions with fans.
If you only “stick to business” and think small talk is a waste of time, you’re missing opportunities to connect and probably don’t have the relationships or rapport you think you do.
You can use small talk to connect, share personal stories (not your entire life story) and build relationships. Sports is a great topic to utilize in small talk. Here are a few topics that would work this week.
There’s no one way to lead. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right or not. Focus on staying in the leadership lane that feels most comfortable to you and and if you're encouraging others to lead give them a comfortable space to lead.
Much like your own personal accomplishments, sports accomplishments can vary. For example, Joey Chestnut broke his own world record Sunday at the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest by eating 76 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes. Just typing that sentence makes me feel queasy, but I would probably jump at the chance to join a pie eating contest.
As silly as it is, that hot dog eating contest makes for great small talk this week along with these more serious sports headlines.
“Our brisket is stupid, but you should totally get the fried catfish because it’s freakin’ bomb.”
I’m not sure those are words I would use to describe menu items, but I love that our server Saturday night used them. It wasn’t just an endorsement of the menu and the chefs, it was a picture into who she was a person. I watched her personality come through in every interaction she had with customers, colleagues, and the chefs. It was fun. And it was a reminder that authenticity comes through in many different ways – including the words we use in conversations.
Choose your words carefully, or strategically when you choose from this list of sports conversation starters to use in small talk this week.