Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.
Halfway through the NFL season I feel (mostly) comfortable with how I’m maintaining and building relationships without stepping foot in a locker room, on a sideline or being able to have in-person conversations.
All the time I’ve spent over the years getting to know the Seahawks players and coaches pays off now when I have to rely on different forms of communication.
Here’s the thing – you can’t maintain a relationship if you never started building one.
Every conversation counts towards building relationships, and every single relationship I’ve built inside the Seahawks locker room started with small talk.
Small talk matters. Make the conversation count. Use these sports #ConvoStarters to get the ball rolling.
I can’t believe it’s November. I also can’t believe my brother hasn’t sent his yearly wish-list email yet. His birthday is next week, and for the last several years he has sent a combined birthday/Christmas wish list to the entire family. At first I thought it was ridiculous, then I found it helpful, now I look forward to seeing it.
I realize you don’t care about my brother’s birthday. Here’s what you should care about - having a strategy that allows you to show up consistently to the point people expect to hear from you.
Once a year isn’t enough to build a business relationship. You need an opportunity to converse or interact monthly and weekly. These weekly conversation starters help with that.
The date caught me off guard.
It shouldn’t have, I look at the calendar every day but yesterday I realized this is the final week of October. Then I realized how much I had planned to get done but am still hustling to finish before the end of the month. Things I thought would be so easy to accomplish now feel like a grind. How often has this happened to you?
How often does this show in up in your conversations? That Zoom catch-up you meant to schedule, the long overdue call home to check in in on family, the follow ups you intended with clients.
Busyness and overwhelm can trump best intentions. Build those conversations and storylines into your regular interactions by using sports small talk.
You don’t need lengthy conversations to stay in touch, you do, however, need touch points. A quick email or text that says, “Wow! What did you think of how that game ended?” or “That was a big win for your team yesterday.” Is a way to stay in touch,...
What if you practiced diplomacy in conversations where emotional responses are the norm? Like in sports small talk.
It’s common, expected and even encouraged that sports fans react emotionally to outcomes that affect their team or favorite player.
But what if you changed the tone of the conversation this week and choose a more diplomatic way to describe your enthusiasm at seeing a division opponent or rival lose on a last-second play? (Or your joy at watching Tom Brady lose track of the downs during a Thursday night loss to Chicago.)
What if you practiced controlling your emotions in conversations and scenarios where emotional responses are acceptable?
What if that carried over, not just in your conversations but in how others started interacting with you?
What if it all started with these sports conversation starters this week?
The news headlines just keep coming. Thankfully so do the sports headlines. There are times they overlap (i.e. positive COVID-19 tests in the NFL), but there are just as many opportunities to focus on the game, outcome, matchups, big performances, individual efforts, coaching decisions, standings, etc….
Sports can be an outlet, escape and a conversation starter that works in small talk this week.
I'm afraid my conversations the last few weeks have lacked words of kindness. It’s not that I was rude, I just found myself holding back and withholding words of encouragement, kindness and support out of my own frustrations, insecurities and stress.
Whatever the reasons, words of kindness go a long way in building a relationship. Being kind shows up in a lot of different ways, including showing an interest in what your colleagues want to talk about – even if it’s not a particular interest of yours.
Sports small talk can open the door to building relationships and words of kindness. Here are a few #ConvoStarters you can use this week.
Conversations rarely have all or nothing results, particularly when we’re talking about small talk.
Each exchange gets you a little closer to building a relationship, or communicating a little better, or opening the lines of communication.
Re-setting the expectations for each conversation can help you see short conversations as productive ones. Those interactions can be about sports and these #ConvoStarters can get the ball rolling.
It’s not just the start of another week, it’s the first work week with NFL games to talk about since February.
I’m not just pointing that out because I’m the sideline reporter for the Seahawks. I make mention of it because the NFL is the most popular sports league in the United States. Football fans are dying to talk about their favorite team, favorite player, coaching decisions and game outcomes. This works to your advantage in two ways:
The sports schedule provides built-in opportunities to stay on the radar and continue building relationships, so do these sports Conversation Starters for the week.
Labor Day isn’t just a holiday for most people it’s also the unofficial end of summer, it traditionally marks the start of school, and it’s the point in time wearing white or seersucker becomes a faux pax. (If you’re into that sort of fashion advice.)
Here’s what else today can do – get you set up for productive small talk the rest of the week. I know your brain is already going in a million different directions. Trying to think of something interesting (or coherent) can be a challenge, especially if you leave it up to chance during small talk. So, don’t. Brush up on these sports headlines and make it easier to think on your feet the rest of the week.
I was about 13 when I wrote a letter to my favorite sportscaster in Houston. I told her how much I loved the work she did and how I thought it would be so cool to talk to players. Much to my surprise, she responded. She was gracious and encouraging of my interest in sports broadcasting but it’s these words that made the greatest impression, “Athlete are people too.”
It was a little puzzling to hear that as a teenager, but it’s a phrase, a statement and a truth that has driven every interaction I’ve had with athletes for 20 years. It’s easy to see athletes as superheroes or super-human based on their talents and abilities, but at the end of the day they’re people.
I’ve heard from plenty of sports fans who want athletes to “stick to sports.” That would be like me telling you to “stick to your job, because what do you know about sports?”
You don’t have to agree with what athletes say. You probably don’t...