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

Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

If there’s one universal takeaway from the Olympics over the last week – it’s that sports isn’t just about the outcomes. Sports can be used to tackle much bigger conversations, like mental health. Simone Biles is a tremendous athlete, the best in the world at what she does. And she is human just like you and just like me.  

Sports at its core is about coming together as human beings and being part of a community, whether you are a community of athletes or a community of fans. You can use sports to be rude, divisive, and controversial or you can use sports to bring people together. 

I hope you will choose the latter and use these sports conversation starters to build relationships in small talk this week.

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Talking to People in Person: Start with Hello

I don’t think about myself as working in a male dominated environment. Which sounds odd coming from someone who’s spent 20 years inside sports locker rooms as a sideline reporter and sports broadcaster.

I get lots of questions about what it’s like in a locker room. Here’s what I see: Talented and skilled people who want to excel and succeed at a high level. People who can deliver in pressure situations because of the hours they spend training and preparing.

There are two things you should recognize about what I just described:

  1. I could just as easily have been describing the people you work with. The job descriptions are different but the drive and desire to win can be the same. (Although your office probably smells better and has less laundry on the floor.)
  2. This is not a group of people that has time to waste in their day. Athletes regularly put in 10 to 12-hour days and sit through more meetings than you might realize.

When I take these things into...

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Sports Conversation Starters for Your Workweek

Last week as I stood in the Mariners clubhouse introducing myself to new players and asking for interviews, I recognized a familiar trend and pattern. On average it took about five interactions for players to smile, open up in conversations and drop their guard in interviews. Those interactions included just walking past me in the hallway, me saying “Hi” in passing, introducing myself and then asking for the interview.

Throughout my career I’ve noticed the five interactions average in building relationships with athletes and coaches. 

And here’s the thing to keep in mind, the people I work with recognize that talking to the media is part of their job, but ensuring they do that willingly (I can assure you few people are jumping at the chance to talk after a loss) and openly requires effort on my part to build those relationships.

Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about how many interactions it takes to build a relationship, but you can certainly...

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Big Conversations Take Practice. Start Small.

The world needs a lot of things right now. 

The most important of which might be communication skills. Not the ability to talk, but the ability to truly communicate, engage in discourse, listen to people with different viewpoints and seek common ground. 

Communication skills have never been more important. 

It will take big, difficult, awkward, emotional and thoughtful conversations to spark change. If you're not ready to jump into those kinds of conversations - don't opt out altogether, start small. 

There are ways to practice the skills you need for big moments. I suggest trying sports conversations. The video explains why. 

 

 

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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 Holiday Week

Happy Holiday week!

I’ll keep this short and sweet since you’ve got a lot on your plate. Don’t forget that sports topics make good small talk options around family and friends. Debate if that’s your style but keep it light enough to avoid huge fights.

You should be connecting with people not alienating them.

Happy holidays!

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5 Ways to Avoid Talking to Your Family During Holiday Get Togethers

I love my family, but sometimes I just don’t want to talk to them.

I’d apologize for sounding like a horrible person - but I know you’ve been there too.

I know you’ve experienced some form of family drama, dealt with conversations that get too personal, or been bored by the conversations that go on and on about your second cousin’s wife’s sister who you’ve never met. And if you’re an introvert you don’t need another reason to avoid conversations altogether.

I also know that just because you don’t want to talk to your family doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around them. But If it’s easier not to talk to your family, or limit your interactions, then try these four ways to communicate and connect instead.

5 Ways to Avoid Talking During Holiday Get Togethers

  1. Observe. Communication takes many different forms. You don’t have to be the person driving the conversation. Hang back and observe the room. Use...
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