Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Happy Monday! Although depending on who you were cheering for in the Super Bowl (and how long that party lasted) you might be feeling anything but happy.
I totally get it.
Here’s what else I get. Whether you liked the outcome of the game. Agreed with the play calling. Placed bets on who won the coin toss or have already wagered on next year’s odds – the Super Bowl is a huge conversation starter this week.
It’s a sports story, human interest story, entertainment and business news all in one event. If you’re not talking about it, you’re probably missing out on huge opportunities to build relationships… or you’re talking about the other sports topics making news this week.
Projections, plans, implementation strategies are all necessary and important for informing the people you lead, but don’t overlook the importance of providing insight on who they’re following.
That doesn’t happen by handing out your resume or talking about past success. It happens when you tell your story.
I’ll admit I’m not great at this. I’ve never felt it was important or even necessary to tell my story. What’s the point of hearing me ramble when you have your own stories and experiences to draw from?
And then after talking to a number of female leaders I realized I was looking at this the wrong way. Telling my story isn’t about me. It’s about giving others context for their stories and experiences. In other words, it’s a way of showing people they’re not alone.
Great leaders aren’t afraid to pull back the curtain and share personal stories.
And yet selling is sometimes...
Sports is more than sports.
Tragic events like the death of Kobe Bryant remind us of that.
Former teammates weren’t reacting to the points he scored. Fans weren't thinking about the championships he’d won or the All-Star games he participated in. They were thinking about and reacting to what Kobe, the man, meant to them.
Sports is powerful. It connects fans across the world.
It’s a useful tool in connecting with people, including the ones you work with.
If you're starting your week with a holiday then it will likely take a little extra time to get back in the swing of things this week. Any time you change your schedule it can cause you to feel out of sorts - like me all weekend.
It was the first time all season I watched football without a vested interest in who won. (I’m an NFL sideline reporter with the Seahawks and usually working weekends.) I was just watching the games and the commercials – there are a lot of commercials. (There are no commercials in stadium, and I spend every time out working to hear what the coaches are saying.)
Here’s the point – there’s plenty of time to talk while watching games. There’s also a case to be made for not watching games, since it can feel like a large waste of time. It’s one of the reasons I post this list every week.
There’s no shortage of advice for making goals or how to reach them. They could be S.M.A.R.T. goals, or maybe you prefer the HARD method or the WOOP approach, but it wouldn’t hurt to include an athlete’s approach, too.
Whether you’re setting new goals for the year, refining New Year’s resolutions or establishing a quarterly revenue goal these strategies will help you stay on track in reaching your goals.
1. Determine your impact number. Yes, I know there are a lot of factors that go into success but pick one. Just ONE. Every successful team has one metric that becomes the cornerstone of their philosophy and is specific to the strengths of their personnel. That number is not points or wins. It’s more specific and it’s a stat proven to a be a catalyst for success. For example; turnover differential, on-base percentage or three-point attempts in a game. Prioritizing one stat gives teams...
To make sports conversations useful in business, you need to be able to see past the stats and scores. Certainly, the outcomes of games can be conversation starters, but there’s more to talk about and relate to when watching games.
For example, you could:
Of course there’s always using these sports conversation starters to give fans a platform to talk, share and connect this week.
Whether you like it or not you are part of a team. Even entrepreneurs work with teams of people that require a certain level of teamwork.
You can argue the value of working together on group projects.
You can dislike the team members you’re working with.
Or you can extoll the benefits and importance of teamwork, like the fact that people who work on a team are twice as likely to be engaged at work according to a global study done by the ADP Research Institute.
The teams I work as a sports broadcaster don’t question the value of teamwork because it’s a requirement. Teamwork isn’t a buzz word in sports. It’s not a cliché. Being a good teammate isn’t category on yearly performance review, it’s on display for athletes every single day.
Which means… watching sports can provide insight on how to be a better teammate. Sports is more than stats and scores.
Watching sports with a critical eye reinforces what teamwork actually is...
Did you know the average NFL game in 2019 was watched by an average of 16.5 million people?
Maybe that stat intrigues me because I’m an NFL sideline reporter or maybe it’s because that’s a significant number of people invested in football games.
Those are the same people you see at work, bump into getting coffee and meet at networking events.
And that’s just one of the reasons you should be using sports small talk to your advantage. Sports fans are primed to talk about their favorite teams, the outcome of games and prolific performances. Give them the platform. Develop rapport and once you have their attention, transition to business.
Use these conversation starters this week:
When I look into the future for 2020 I see sports. Lots of sports.
Although, I suppose that’s true for every year and every decade. Which is why every year I update this handy dandy chart of major sporting events and general sports timelines to track throughout the year.
It’s a habit I developed early in my TV career as a sports producer. I was responsible for generating nightly content and staying on top of upcoming events and having a calendar of events helps with the planning process. So, about this time every year I would literally get out my paper calendar and pencil in sports schedules I needed to follow. I’ve maintained that habit as a blogger and business owner who talks about sports.
This chart helps me track topics for the weekly Conversation Starters blog… AND it helps me plan follow up emails and conversations with sports-loving clients and people in my network.
There are lots of reasons I use sports conversations in business, here are the...
Get a jump start on those New Year’s resolutions by committing to at least one productive small talk conversation a day this week.
What makes small talk productive?
It should allow you to learn something about the person you’re talking to that could be used in a follow up conversation.
Here’s my general rule of thumb: sports works, weather does not. I mean, how many times can you ask about rainy weather, cloudy weather, winter weather… you get my drift.
Here are a few sports topics you can use this week.