Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
People have different opinions, life experiences, points of view, desired outcomes, reactions and ways of dealing with things.
We see that playing out in different ways around the country.
Practice starts in day-to-day interactions, that involve less stress and less incendiary topics. Practice starts with your small talk and it can start with a sports conversation. Sports fans disagree all the time about unimportant things like a manager’s decision to pinch-hit in the 8th inning, a play-call on third down, a lead driver pitting with two laps to go in a NASCAR race.
Sports is more than stats and scores. It can be a way to practice listening and disagreeing so that you’re prepared to do that in bigger moments when there are more important things to talk about.
Welcome to a holiday Monday!
Although given the current state of work from home schedules, I’m not sure what a holiday weekend means these days.
Usually I’d remind you these sports conversation starters are great for get-togethers with family and friends. That seems like an unlikely way to spend Memorial Day this year, so I’ll just say these are still interesting talking points for small talk in any conversations you’re having this week, even the ones you might be having with yourself two months into quarantine (Amiright?)
Soccer returned in Germany. NASCAR returned in the United States. A few PGA players returned to the course. Sports leagues continue to discuss plans that would allow them to resume play.
It won’t be what fans are used to experiencing, but it will be live sporting events. It could also lead to emotional conversations.
Yes, I know there’s an option to go down that path. And you and I both know that if you do that you won’t be furthering a relationship, you could be ending one. You don’t have to like the people you work with, but you do need to find a way to work well with them. It’s your job. Don’t make it any harder by picking fights.
With that in mind, here are a few sports topics you can use in small talk this week.
NASCAR returns to live racing this week for the first time in more than two months. You don’t have to be a racing fan to appreciate the return of live sporting events.
Sports won’t look the same as they did before the COVID-19 crisis, but fans will still have a desire to connect and talk about races, games, athletes and events.
It’s one reason to stay up to speed on sports topics making headlines. They’ll come in handy when connecting with sports-loving colleagues and making small talk.
Here are a few to keep you in the know.
In other words, if you think a longer conversation means you’re a better communicator you need to rethink your KPI or success metrics.
Short conversations can be more impactful and make you a more effective communicator if you’re intentional about the message you’re conveying and the time you spend listening.
That’s true for every email, meeting, video conference and small talk opportunity.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time in small talk to make a genuine connection when you’re intentional about how you engage with people.
Here are a few sports topics to help you do that this week.
Were you one of the record-number of people who tuned into the virtual NFL Draft?
Were you also among the group of viewers who enjoyed seeing coaches, GMs, players and even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in their own homes?
It’s one of the biggest talking points following a draft that had more suspense around whether or not the technology would work (it did) than the top two quarterbacks in the draft class.
The NFL Draft provided sports-starved fans an outlet and insight they’d never seen. It’s a reminder that sports isn’t just about sports outcomes and work isn’t just about your work product.
Your house might not look like Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Your dog might not get as much attention as Bill Belichick’s but that doesn’t mean co-workers and colleagues don’t want to connect with you on a personal level.
Pull back the curtain a little bit in your small talk. Be willing to chit chat before your calls this week....
Small talk isn’t just about being polite or finding something to say before a meeting starts. It’s the beginning of conversation that could unlock creativity, new ideas or inspiration.
Those are all things that could be lacking while working from home. If you’re missing some of your mojo. If ideas aren’t coming to you as easily as they once did, try having a conversation with someone else. It doesn’t even need to be about work or the problem you’re trying to solve.
One comment can lead to a different thought and a way to unlock your mojo and creativity.
If you’re looking for small talk topics this week, try these sports headlines.
Functionality over cleverness today.
It’s important to stay in touch with people. You need things to talk about. There are only so many conversations about grocery store shortages, death rates, flattening the curve and social distancing we can take. (I know I’m at my limit!)
In the event that you are too, and even if you’re not, here are a few sports topics you can use in small talk on those video calls and virtual meetings this week.
We’re going into week four of zero live sports on TV and my husband has decided the new go-to background TV programing is Food Network. Apparently me cooking every day is not entertaining enough. He has never once watched the food prep for his own dinner from start to finish. I digress.
We’re not the only ones changing our viewing habits. Everyone is looking for new things to watch and different things to talk about. Quite a few athletes and sports fans are entertaining themselves with virtual sports and still finding new sports headlines like these to talk about during the week.
Like the kind that happen when you bump into a colleague in the hallway, or the chit chat that takes place in an elevator.
Stay at home and work from home orders have changed the way we operate and the way we think about daily activities and interactions.
In many cases physical distancing has actually increased social connections because we’re all becoming more intentional about reaching out for those conversations and interactions.
Continue reaching out. Find things to talk about. Use sports as a connection point with fans and use these sports #ConvoStarters this week.