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I'M ONE TO TALK

Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

I'd Rather Talk About Something Else... 3 Steps to Controlling the Direction of a Conversation

The hottest news topic isn’t always the one you want to talk about, even when it seems like that’s ALL anyone is talking about.

The coronavirus dominates our conversations as much as the headlines right now. While it can be helpful to talk through the latest information and comforting to know other people share the same feelings or concerns, engaging in that conversation over and over can also lead to anxiety and increased levels of stress and worry. 

Stop having a stressful conversation on repeat by changing your approach to small talk.

If you would rather talk about something else, alter your approach to small talk. Try these three adjustments in the conversations you’re already having both remotely and in-person.

 

Dial in open-ended questions. You can’t count on anyone else to change the subject so control the direction of the conversation from the outset by asking a more targeted questions. Using “How are you?” or...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

The topic dominating headlines isn’t always the best conversation starter.

I mean, how much more do you really want to talk about the coronavirus (And how much more should we say other than, “Please wash your hands.”) 

Even with the uncertainty around some sporting events sports makes a great connection point. Look for a new blog post within the next 24 hours on how to direct conversations in more productive directions. For now, use these sports topics whether you’re talking face-to-face or via email.

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ONLINE TRAINING: Stop Asking Stupid Questions

The person who coined the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” was either flat-out lying or unaware of all the stupid questions he/she was asking.

I know from experience there are plenty of stupid, bad, lazy and unproductive questions – all of which lead to a lot of eye-rolling, but that’s not the worst part, neither is the sounding stupid part. The worst part is the wasted time. That’s what you should be worried about.

It takes longer to get the answers you need to figure out the real issue, identify solutions and inspire action when you’re asking bad questions.

And just so we’re clear – if you are following the advice of most so-called “experts” you’re probably asking these types of questions.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

All opportunities come through people.

It’s something I heard an NFL Agent tell a group of conference attendees at the NFL Combine during the weekend.

Technology, social media, and AI are changing the way we work and communicate, but at the end of the day it’s about people.

There’s no substitute for being able to talk to people face-to-face and build relationships.

 Small talk is the first step in that process. It’s one of the reasons I make sure you’re not without something to say every week. Here are a few sports topics to use this week.

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Conversation Fail - More Information Isn't Better

More isn’t better. Longer conversations don’t lead to better communication. Additional information doesn’t lead to better understanding.

Unnecessary details in a conversation can just as easily create confusion as clarity.

I was guilty of that this week.

My editor and I met to discuss the plan for editing the 32 interviews I completed during my 10 days in Spring Training. It’s a conversation we’ve had every year for the last 10 years and something we’d been talking about for the last month. I thought we were on the same page. I expected a quick, easy conversation and was floored and frustrated when he suddenly had objections. 

I couldn’t figure out what changed and why we suddenly felt like adversaries instead of colleagues and friends who can practically read each other’s minds because we’ve worked together for so many years. 

And then I saw it. The look on his face and the stack of papers in his hand.

...

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Storytelling in Leadership Starts with These Questions

Sports fans inherently know the importance of storytelling. Unless they’re the type who look at the score or the outcome… and nothing else. No highlights. No recaps. No interviews. No social media. No conversations with other fans.

And let’s face, that’s not the way fans consume information.

It’s also not the way you or your colleagues consume information. Even data driven people with a thirst for stats know there’s a story behind the numbers that influences or affects decisions.

Storytelling is hugely important for conveying messages, providing context and influencing people – things all leaders should do.

But there’s a catch.

Storytelling is subjective.

A good story isn’t universal. What resonates with one person might not land with another.

Yet it’s universally accepted the most influential and effective leaders are great storytellers. It’s a requirement that seemingly comes with a moving target unless you start...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Work 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.

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

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.

 

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5 Ways to Be a Better Teammate at Work

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...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

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:

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