Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
According to a recent study done at the University of Kansas quality conversation makes our days better. Interestingly enough, the definition of “quality conversation” in their research ranges from joking around to catching up and valuing others and their opinions.
Here’s what I found interesting, they didn’t specify how long a conversation needed to be in order to improve connection and overall well-being.
That means the length of the conversation doesn’t determine the quality of the conversation.
To me that reinforces the fact small talk can count as quality conversation IF and WHEN we’re intentional about it. You can make it a meaningful exchange by preparing and having something to say. Here are a few sports headlines that can help with quick, quality interactions this week.
The Super Bowl matchup is set. There’s a huge NBA milestone on the horizon and there are a handful of topics you can use in small talk this week. Sports is more than stats and scores, you’ve read this from me before, but you may or may not have seen the most recent Thinking Outside the Box Scores video that could be really useful this week because of LeBron James and I’m launching my new cooking show I Cook, You Measure on Friday.
Sports talk and sports conversations come in many different forms. Find one that works for you and use these talking points as conversation starters this week.
Our work relationships are far more important than we give them credit for.
That’s one of the key findings in a recently published book on the scientific study of happiness. The authors also note that it can be difficult and awkward to form relationships because the modern workplace is maximized for efficiency and the ability to work independently. There’s also the fact that many conversation topics are off limits and taboo.
So, what can you do to build relationships that lead to more satisfying relationships at work? Start with small talk. Sports small talk in particular could be the entry point you’re looking for with so many topics you can’t (or shouldn’t) talk about at work.
You don’t have to care about the outcome of a game to engage in a short worthwhile conversation with a colleague. You can learn a lot about the people you work with in every interaction even if it’s just a conversation about one of these sports topics making...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For as much as sports brings people together, sports fans don’t always agree. There’s a lot of fun, light-hearted, healthy debates around sports that don’t mean all that much in the end (because at the end of the day does it really matter who gets ranked in the Top 4 in college football?)
You don’t always have to agree. In fact, disagreeing and practicing a healthy back-and-forth is a good conversation skill to develop.
These sports conversation starters can help you with that this week.