You probably already know that I advocate using sports conversations as a business tool. Sports talk isn’t just about sports. It can touch on a variety of topics, like leadership which is the conversation I’m going to facilitate and moderate next week.
Which brings me to this question: Whatcha doing next Thursday? I hope you’re joining me for breakfast. Well, me and a few friends including University of Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen, Seattle University Athletic Director Shaney Fink and Big Sky Conference Commissioner Andrea Williams.
We’ll be on stage for the Seattle Sports Commission Women’s Leadership Breakfast Thursday, Oct 26th from 7-9:45am at The Westin Seattle.
You’ll be motivated by their takes on leadership and inspired by their recognition of what makes the kick-butt (or badass) women.
“I think I realized it after I had my first child. I thought me at 70% is better than anyone else they could bring in. Once I realized that, it helped me know that I could keep moving along. I knew I worked hard. I focused and I worked well with people, and I thought ‘I’m just going to keep doing it and see what happens.’”
Shaney Fink – Athletic Director, Seattle University
“I went through a lot of adversity this year, having to make a chance in the men’s basketball coach and acting quickly on hiring a coach and getting so much alignment and clarity on our values and sticking with that and turning down all the noise. I think that is badass, being true to your values. It’s hard it gets noisy and I think that of all the things I’m most proud of personally I’m most proud of the fact I make decisions here that are in the best interest of the place not me.”
Jen Cohen – Athletic Director, University of Washington
“I grew up in a household of very successful people. It was always just understood that you are going to aspire and attain greatness. I think when you have that support system and you have that drive from the people around you, you know if you are not pushing or doing 100% is just not acceptable. It wasn’t necessarily unacceptable to them, it was unacceptable to you, because it became your own value.”
Andrea Williams – Commissioner, Big Sky Conference
Their insights are going to leave you buzzing and in the perfect frame of mind to network with them and the other kick-butt attendees. Make plans to stay for our networking hour after the breakfast. It’s your chance to meet the panelists and win a ticket on Delta airlines. Bring a business card to drop in the bowl when you register that morning and you’ll be entered to win. You must be present to win, so plan to stick around.
I’ll look for you next week!
Happy Monday! Welcome to a new work week and more chances to use sports to your advantage at work.
You’ll notice this week’s Convo Starters include a number of football topics. Here’s the reason why – it’s the most-watched sport in America. It doesn’t matter if ratings have declined, or the reasons for that. Football is still the sport that’s watched by more Americans, which means there’s a greater likelihood the people you run into on a daily basis have a working knowledge of football. It’s why it’s a valuable small talk topic.
If you know the people you work with prefer to talk about other sports, make sure you read up on their preferred sports after you take a look at these topics making news around the country this week.
If you want to learn how to use these Convo Starters to your advantage at work, the new How-To guide is for you.
If you want to develop conversation skills that aid your leadership potential, you’ll want to purchase your copy of The Influential Conversationalist.
And if you want these Convo Starters delivered right to your inbox, leave your name in the box marked “Let’s Do This!” and I’ll make sure you’re sports savvy by 7am every Monday.
This is an excerpt from The Influential Conversationalist published by Jen Mueller in October 2017. Conversation skills can develop leadership potential. You control your career opportunities. Stop making excuses. Start getting things done and know the advice Jen gives in the book comes from real-life experience and a real, honest-to-goodness desire to help you succeed.
The motivation behind why you read the book will likely dictate how much you get out of it. When you apply the strategies outlined here try to view them, not just as a how-to guide for workplace conversations, but as a way to view every conversation as a potential opportunity.
That’s why I wrote the book. I wanted to give you tools that empowered you to champion yourself, create more opportunities and step into leadership roles without needing someone to give you permission or a title. I wanted to give you something to say when you faced opposition, felt defeated and lost the ability to see your own brilliance.
I wanted to give you the same techniques that got me to where I am in my career. I wanted to teach you what to say because based on what I was told, I never should have succeeded:
- I was told women don’t belong in sports.
- I was told by a former manager in my first television job that I was hired to wear short skirts and open doors, not to think or contribute to conversations.
- I was told I belonged in the kitchen where I could cook and clean, not on the football field where I could officiate.
- I was told I wasn’t pretty enough for TV.
- I was told I was just a pretty face, and full of shit.
Every time someone told me something that sounded like, “No” I talked my way into a new opportunity. I sought out conversations with influencers who could give me a chance. I found ways to show up over and over again. I rehearsed conversations I had with decision makers. I built relationships and I stayed on the radar. I was able to do all of this because I am an Influential Conversationalist. Good communication skills open doors and make a difference.
Oh, there’s one more thing I was told, by my mother who told me I shouldn’t take a picture flipping off the camera with my Super Bowl ring.
I usually listen to my mother, but after all the things I’ve been told, I say that picture Finally Underscores my accomplishments.
Purchase the book on Amazon, or contact Jen to place a bulk order of books for your company or group. She’s also an entertaining and energetic speaker who provides a different perspective on business communication and leadership skills. She can be reached via email: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com
Next Page »