“You’ve got to find a way to break into the conversation.”
It was one of my takeaways from talking to a banking executive last week who was highlighting the importance of small talk at work.
She is an incredibly talented, skilled and successful woman and attributes a lot of her success to her ability to talk to others and build strong teams. I wasn’t surprised to learn that most of her small talk came back to sports conversations.
I’ve been a passionate advocate for using sports as the go-to conversation topic for years. It’s an easy way to break into a conversation, especially if you use one of these timely topics this week.
- Sam Bradford
- College Football
- Seattle Mariners
- Hunter Mahan
- US Open
- In the NFL, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL during the Rams preseason game Saturday night. He will miss the entire season. He missed 9 games last year with the same injury.
- The college football schedule (for FBS teams) starts Thursday. The defending champion Florida State Seminoles are ranked No. 1 heading into the season. FSU plays Oklahoma State Saturday night.
- In baseball the Seattle Mariners are one of the hottest teams since the trade deadline. They’re coming off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox and will play one of the best teams in the National League this weekend in the Washington Nationals. Pay attention to the pitching matchup of Hisashi Iwakuma and Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. (And yes, I’m a little biased on this note since I work on the Mariners TV broadcast, but they are playing great baseball.)
- In golf, Hunter Mahan won The Barclays Sunday and put himself in consideration for the Ryder Cup team. But most people will be talking about the giant crystal trophy he received and how he broke it while posing for pictures with his family.
- In tennis the US Open starts Monday. Defending champ Rafael Nadal is injured and will miss the tournament. That makes Roger Federer a favorite, although he hasn’t won a major in two years. Serena Williams is the defending champ on the women’s side. She has not advanced past the fourth round at a major in 2014.
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the sideline reporter for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks. She also works on the television broadcasts for the Seattle Mariners. Jen is the author of Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business. Her step-by-step process makes sports accessible and practical for relationship building in business. The book is available through Amazon.