Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
As we think about connecting in real life again, resuming networking habits, or maybe refining that podcast you started in the last year. Remember this: Curiosity doesn’t replace preparation.
Curiosity alone doesn’t lead to a great conversation or even a productive one if you didn’t take the time to get curious before the conversation started.
Spend a few minutes to consider things like:
How do you know this person? Are you familiar with them or do you need to do a little research?
What’s happened in the time since last talking to them? Think about what could have happened in their industry, with their job or in the world in general so you can bring empathy, understanding and perspective to the conversation.
What are you hoping to get out of the conversation? Identify the objective before you start talking so you know where the conversation needs to go.
What needs to happen for it to be a successful conversation? Drill down and get a little more specific on...
Busted bracket? Yeah, me too – along with just about everyone else who assumed the top men’s seeds would advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
You know what a busted bracket says? I was wrong. Or, if you have a hard time fully admitting to that statement, it says you didn’t guess right or didn’t make the right choice.
In the context of picking winning basketball teams it matters very little. In a bigger business context there is value in be able to graciously admit when you are wrong.
Use sports conversations to practice the skill you’ll need in much bigger and more important conversations at work. These topics can can get the conversations started.
The Big Dance starts this week which means a lot of people will be talking about the NCAA Tournament and their brackets. Even novice and non-fans get caught up in the action and excitement of choosing winners in the NCAA Tournament. If you need a few ideas for how to fill out your bracket, I provided five options in a recent blog post.
If you'd like additional sports topics to talk about this week, I've got you covered there too.
You’re going to hear this question a lot in the next few days because it’s the start of the NCAA Tournament. Basketball fans love seeing the matchups and filling out a bracket that predicts the winners. It’s not just hoops fans filling out brackets, it seems like everyone does it from the 3-year-old who picks according to color to the novice fan who makes selections based on mascots.
That’s the beauty of filling out a bracket. It’s not an exact science. As much as college basketball analysts would like you to believe this is something they have expertise in, the truth is – it’s a crapshoot. The higher ranked team doesn’t always win. Every year there are upsets. And every year it’s the source of a lot of conversations at work, which is exactly why you need to fill out a bracket.
It’s not an exercise in being perfect. (In fact, of the...
After a week spent visiting family in warm, sunny weather I returned to Seattle… and to rain and 40-degree temperatures. It’s like that a lot here. Ask me about the weather and I’ll probably tell you it’s raining. The weather is not a great conversation starter. It rarely goes anywhere interesting it often results in a one- or two-word answer. For people who have spent most of the last year inside the weather sometimes isn’t even relevant.
For small talk that leads to productive conversations and better follow up opportunities try sports and these sports conversation starters.
Last week as I stood in the Mariners clubhouse introducing myself to new players and asking for interviews, I recognized a familiar trend and pattern. On average it took about five interactions for players to smile, open up in conversations and drop their guard in interviews. Those interactions included just walking past me in the hallway, me saying “Hi” in passing, introducing myself and then asking for the interview.
Throughout my career I’ve noticed the five interactions average in building relationships with athletes and coaches.
And here’s the thing to keep in mind, the people I work with recognize that talking to the media is part of their job, but ensuring they do that willingly (I can assure you few people are jumping at the chance to talk after a loss) and openly requires effort on my part to build those relationships.
Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about how many interactions it takes to build a relationship, but you can certainly...
Which is why I prepare for the 60-second conversations that occur prior to my Spring Training interviews. I’m not just trying to kill time before the camera starts rolling. I’m not filling the silence or just trying to be polite. I have an objective in mind and a question to help guide the conversation.
Intentional preparation makes all the difference between awkward small talk and a productive conversation.
As you think through your conversations this week here are sports topics that could be used to start a conversation.
A former Seahawk reminded me of that in an email yesterday. I had sent him a note congratulating him on a new coaching job and his response included this: “You [were] the only person in media to notice me, but I appreciate it because those small interactions have enormous impact.”
I enjoyed our weekly conversations but didn’t think twice about them or think it was out of the ordinary. What I didn’t realize is how much they meant to him.
There is someone you work with, someone you encounter this week, who will benefit from a small interaction. Take the initiative and engage in the conversation. It makes a difference even if you don’t think twice about it in the moment.
You can use these sports conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
I feel like I’ve said this a lot in the past week, but it’s worth another reminder – the Super Bowl is a great conversation starter, even if you’re not a football fan and even if you didn’t actually watch the game.
Millions of people around the world tuned in to watch Tampa Bay beat Kansas City and they probably made special game day food, have an opinion on the commercials, musical performances and even a thought on what it would be like to travel to Tampa or anywhere else in the world right now.
The football hype will die down this week, but not without giving you a chance to maintain or build business relationships. If the Super Bowl isn’t your favorite topic there are plenty of other topics making sports headlines this week.
By this point you know the drill. Every Monday you can find a list of sports conversation starters right here. These sports conversation starters are more than sports talk. They’re a way to engage in intentional small talk with follow up opportunities that can help you build business relationships.
So let’s get right to it. Here are a list of sports topics making news this week.