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

Supporting Superstars and thinking outside the box scores

Caitlin Clark is the most prolific scorer in college basketball history. The records she set at Iowa led to storylines sports fans around the country followed. 

The increased popularity and viewership of women's basketball can be directly traced to Clark. 

Her career and accomplishments have spark countless sports conversations, but here's what I keep thinking about - if it was my job to coach Caitlin Clark, what skills would I need to support a superstar talent? 


Thinking outside the box scores leads us to a different type of conversation altogether, one that could benefit every leader because it's ultimately about the high performers on your team. 

There's no question Clark is highly motivated on her own, but she can't win by herself. No one can. Her individual efforts get a lot of attention, but her team is the reason she won. So think about that in terms of the rising star in your organization and the high performers you manage. How do you create an...

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Practicing Change and thinking outside the box scores

Athletes train for change because it’s part of the job. They’re going to take the field, court or pitch and be forced to change direction.

It’s rare an athlete gets to run straight ahead unimpeded while doing their job, (the exception being track athletes, of course.)

They expect change, so they prepare for it.

In fact, if you were to watch practices you would discover that most of practice is about making adjustments and changing direction. They anticipate the scenarios they’ll encounter in a game or match and create drills that help them respond effectively.  

Anyone who’s ever played sports would tell you that’s what practice is for.

So how are you practicing for change in your career?

This is another example of using sports to think outside the box scores and have a bigger conversation about preparing for change.

  • How are you training yourself to be resilient and respond effectively when change happens?
  • Do you spend time encouraging your...
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Thinking Outside the Box Scores - NFL Combine Conversations

business communication Mar 01, 2024

The 40-yard dash produces some of the best highlights of the NFL Combine. 

It's the most-talked about drill but it's not necessarily a good representation of an athlete's value or skillset. When you see the highlights or hear someone talking about the Combine consider how you can spin the conversation toward business topics. For example:

  • Are you evaluating talent based on the entertainment factor or the value factor?
  • What's the drill that best showcases your skillset? 
  • What skillset is missing from your team?
  • What does your next best employee look like?

Here are a few other things to consider when Thinking Outside the Box Scores:

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Talk Sporty to Me Founder, Jen Mueller

business communication Feb 25, 2024

Conversations come easy to me. They always have. (Just ask every teacher who commented on my report cards.) 

Sports talk has always been a natural conversation starter for me and it comes with the territory as a sports broadcaster. I often tell people sports fits my personality and sports broadcasting fits my skillet.

I am ultra competitive. I am also passionate about effective communication and winning in small moments - both of which are part of my day-to-day job in locker rooms and how I got into sports broadcasting in the first place.

People were not exactly jumping to give women jobs in sports when I graduated college. I learned quickly I had just a few seconds to make a great impression and land my message. It's why I started using Success Statements and why I've been talking about them ever since. 

Success Statements have helped me get a foot in the door, given me a way to advocate for myself and allowed me to effortless stay on the radar of key decision makers. I...

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Super Bowl Conversations for Business People

business communication Feb 12, 2024

Super Bowl conversations dominate small talk for a couple weeks following the big game. They game itself will get plenty of mentions during the upcoming NFL Combine, as the Draft gets underway, when mini camps start and when Training Camps open in July.

The long and the short of it is, the Super Bowl generates a lot of conversation. Sports fans and sports media focus on the outcome, matchups, coaching decisions and stats, but you can use a number of talking points to join conversations. You can even spin off new ideas that spark business conversations.

Here are 5 Super Bowl takeaways to help you think Outside the Box Scores with sports talk: 

  1. If you’re talking about the success of the Kansas City Chiefs more than your own success, we’ve got problems. The final outcome of the game is a huge talking point and their recent success is impressive. However, if you spend more time this week talking about what the Chiefs did than what you’re doing, you’re...
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Getting More Information from Your Informational Interviews

The informational interview. A well-intentioned idea that’s often poorly executed.

(TL;DR If you ask the same scripted questions as everyone else you're getting the same information as everyone else, not the most relevant information to YOU.)

It makes sense to talk someone who already works in an industry or position you’d like to be in. A conversation with someone who has ‘been there are done that’ can be helpful in planning your own success 

I know how valuable those conversations can be because I’ve counted on informational interviews throughout my career as a sports broadcaster and business owner.

These days I’m frequently asked to participate in informational interviews. As someone who’s benefited from them I want to help others and provide valuable information.  

But the information you get is only as good as the questions you ask.

I’m happy to answer a wide range of questions, but what I really want to do is...

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Thinking Outside the Box Scores - A toss of the coin

business communication Jan 30, 2024

Super Bowl prop bets are a favorite conversation starter for me leading up to the big game. For as much as I enjoy talking about the game itself, the prop bets take the conversation in an entirely different direction.

If you’re not familiar with a prop bet its side wager on parts of the game that have nothing to do with the final outcome. For example, you could place a bet on who will be the Super Bowl MVP, the first song performed at halftime, the length of the National Anthem or whether the coin toss will be heads or tails.

It’s the questions around the coin toss that can lead to interesting conversations with colleagues and reveal their approach to things like project management and productivity. 

I realize it might sound like a stretch, (after all, how much strategy comes into play when making a decision with 50-50 odds?) but the conversation is less about heads or tails and more about what happens next. 

On game day the team that wins the coin toss can...

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Football. Your perfect conversation starter.

Sports fans once again made television history by watching Kansas City defeat Buffalo in the divisional playoff game.

More than 50 million people tuned into the game making it the most-watched divisional playoff game in NFL history and the first divisional playoff game to top 50 million viewers. 

Kansas City won the game and advanced to the AFC Championship game for a sixth straight year, but two of the biggest storylines and talking points among fans had nothing to do with stats from the game.

  • Some sports fans just liked the drama. (The outcome was decided in the final two minutes of the game.)
  • Many Buffalo fans commiserated in another heart-breaking playoff loss. (Google “Buffalo Bills wide right” and you’ll know what I mean.)
  • Other fans were entertained by seeing Taylor Swift and Jason Kelce celebrating and cheering together in a suite. (I’m sure you’ve heard by now that T-Swift is dating Jason’s brother Travis.) 

There are...

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Three Ways to Stand Out at Work

You’ve set goals.

You’re targeting professional milestones.

You’ve crafted a plan for success.

Does it include ways to be more visible at work with your managers and even your colleagues?   

Your work and the effort you put in at work are only part of being successful. Increasing your visibility directly impacts your compensation and opportunities to advance your career. 

Letting your work speak for itself leaves a lot of room for interpretation and quite honestly results in a lot of missed opportunities every single day.

Standing out at work doesn’t require you to take on more work. It’s not about being the first one to the office and the last one to leave (or log off.) It doesn’t mean you have to brag about everything you’re working on.

Your visibility at work comes down to - being strategic and intentional in your interactions. Here are three tangible ways you can stand out every day: 

 1. Do what you say...

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Thinking Outside the Box Scores - What's your criteria

business communication Dec 10, 2023

MVP discussions in sports often turn into debates because there are different schools of thought on how those awards should be determined. The outcome depends on which criteria you use and which school of thought you follow. Which is also true when it comes to performance reviews and goal setting for 2024.

Make sure your team is on the same page and knows the criteria you're using. If you haven't been specific or need to have that conversation again this sports conversation can help you start the discussion. It's just one way to use sports to think outside the box score and improve business communication. 

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