Posted on: June 4th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Do you talk to your coworkers?

Do you talk to them about something other than work?

Are you the first one to strike up a conversation?

Hopefully you can say ‘yes’ to all of those questions at some point during the course of your day. There are many people, however, who prefer to wait until ‘spoken to’ to speak up.  Here’s one of the problems with that approach.  It requires your coworkers to read your mind. 

How are they to know you’re ready, willing and able to chat unless you speak up?  For those wondering why it matters if you have a conversation to begin with here you go – it helps you engage and feel a part of the group.

When there’s a feeling of inclusion, buy in and ownership there’s a great sense of morale, purpose and satisfaction at work.  All of those things lead to more pleasant and productive workplaces.

Don’t be left out of the conversation this week and don’t wait for someone else to get the ball rolling.  Take charge.  How does it work?  It’s as simple as using the sports topics below.  Say something like, “Good Morning!  What did you think of Tiger Woods this weekend?”   A sports fan will pick it up from there and you’re off and running.   Let’s get started…

Workplace Conversation Starters, Break the IceTiger Woods – Many sports fans wondered if the day would come.   Years ago it was a sure bet that Tiger Woods would tie his idol Jack Nicklaus for PGA Tour victories, but he’s slumped badly in the last couple years following a personal scandal (review Tiger’s headlines) and injuries.  Sunday he completed the feat however, winning the Memorial in front of Nicklaus himself.

  • Woods hit a lot of great shots in the final round including one called one of the toughest he’s ever made.  What did you think about the final round?
  • The win makes him one of the favorites now in the U.S. Open (Father’s Day weekend) but the last time he won a tournament he flailed badly the following weeks.  What are his chances of a good showing at the Open?

NBA Playoffs – The Conference Finals are providing basketball fans with a lot of drama and storylines.  Remember it’s Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the West and Boston and Miami in the East.  It appears that Miami will activate Chris Bosh who’s been out with an injury the last few weeks.

  • How could that impact the Heat?  Is it a good move even if he’s not at full strength?
  • There’s been a lot of critical talk about the officiating, especially in the Miami-Boston series.  How much of a roll should the officiating play in the games and do you think it has gotten out of control?

NHL Playoffs – The Los Angeles Kings continue to prove that home ice isn’t an advantage when they’re in the building.  The Kings have won 10 straight road games.  It’s a streak that dates back to April 11 when they played against the top seeded Vancouver Canucks.  They’ve won the first two Finals games in overtime in New Jersey.

  • The Kings weren’t anything special in regular season road games. Why the dominance now?
  • Do the Kings have what it takes to close out the series at home?

French Open – By this time next week, we’ll have two champions at the French Open.  Maria Sharapova has reached the quarterfinals in the women’s bracket despite poor serves.  If you’ve never watched Maria play, you might have heard her.  She’s the one that yells loudly every time she hits the ball.

  • Maria has never won a French Open Title.  If she does, it completes a career Grand Slam.  Do you think she pulls it out this time?
  • On the men’s side,  Novak Djokovic the worlds top ranked player narrowly avoided an upset on his way into the quarterfinals.  Can he pick up the pace and come out with a win?

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  She’s also helping them climb the corporate ladder through her program “What Do I Say?” Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join the conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how their communication skills can make ’em or break ’em in business.  Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster.  Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact jen@talksportytome.com for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com