Posted on: September 16th, 2013 by Jen Mueller

Talk in a way that people want to listen.

This is the advice I give frequently during my presentations on workplace communication.  When you cater your conversations to the people you’re talking with, there’s a greater chance your message is received which leads to better results for you.

It’s one of the reasons I advocate using sports conversations at work.  Football fans can’t get enough football.  Use it to your advantage.  I’m not suggesting you spend 3 hours talking football, but 3 minutes is do-able and helps build rapport.  If you understand the big headlines making news you can spin the sports side of it to business.  For example, a slumping Robert Griffin III in Washington could lead to a conversation about teamwork, overcoming challenges or changing a game plan.

So take a look at the latest headlines and start talking about football.

Making News:

  • Russell Wilson
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Peyton Manning
  • Johnny Manziel
  • Wisconsin-Arizona State

Why:

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in a prime time division showdown Sunday night. Lightening interrupted the game for about an hour, but neither team seemed to be affected (not that I could see from the sidelines anyway.) Niner’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw 3 interceptions and managed to put just 3 points on the board.  The crowd might have been a factor as the fans in Seattle set a new world record for loudest crowd noise. That eye-brow bet?  If it’s real, Kaepernick is losing his.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for a career high 480 yards and 4 touchdowns in a big win over the Washington Redskins.  Conversely Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III struggled again this week.  It’s the second ugly loss for the Redskins and it appears RG3 is dealing with the effects of knee surgery and maybe a sophomore slump.

It was brother against brother Sunday afternoon in the Manning Bowl.  Denver quarterback Peyton Manning outdueled NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning.  Eli threw for more yards, but threw four interceptions.  Peyton controlled the game and the tempo and afterwards said he was glad it’s over.

Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M drop to #10 in the college football rankings after losing to top-ranked Alabama Saturday.  The Aggies rallied in the fourth quarter but came up short.  For all of Manziel’s perceived shortcomings off the field, he proved he’s got the guts and the talent to lead his team against the best in the county.

College football fans will also be talking about the finish in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game Saturday night.  Wisconsin was in position to kick a game-winning field goal, but a botched call by the officials with 15 seconds left resulted in the end of the game.  Wisconsin did not have a chance to kick the field goal and ASU won 32-30. Expect to hear more early this week on what the officials should have done.

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business. After 13 years in sports broadcasting, Jen wrote the go-to resource for novice and first-time sports fans in the business world.  Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business.  The book is available through Amazon.