Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Did you see that Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game?

It’s a question that will be asked throughout the Northwest this week and by baseball fans across the country.  It’s a rare feat for a pitcher.  In fact, it’s only happened 23 times in major league baseball history.

That’s why I was so thrilled to get the first interview with Felix after he came off the mound.   (It’s been a banner week for me with interviews coming off last night’s entertaining finish with Eric Thames.) 

 

Sports at Work, Talk Sporty to Me Blog

Jen Mueller interviewing Felix Hernandez after his perfect game.

Sports at Work, Talk Sporty to Me Blog

Felix Hernandez after throwing the first perfect game in Mariners history.

 

The excitement of the perfect game will wear off, but it’s usefulness as a conversation piece will last for years.   Whether you were at the game or not, simply knowing what happened is enough to engage in a conversation with a sports fan and particularly a baseball fan.

Conversations build relationships and relationships lead to business.  Having a conversation topic that lasts for months and even years gives you a “go-to” connection point.

Here are a few examples of when to bring the perfect game into a conversation:

  • Felix will pitch every 5 days for the Mariners for the rest of the season.  Every time he pitches you could casually mention how great it was that after being so good for so long he finally threw a perfect game.
  • Since the perfect game came against Tampa, every time the Mariners play the Rays it will be a conversation topic.
  • When the topic of best pitcher in baseball comes up you can make an argument for Felix after throwing the perfect game.
  • During the off-season when people wonder if the Mariners will trade Felix you can use the perfect game to point to his value and skill as a pitcher.

As a side note, if you didn’t watch the game or only saw parts of the game, it’s okay to say that in conversation.  The game started right in the middle of the workday at 12:40pm.  That piece of information becomes part of your conversation strategy too.  You might find someone who was in the same boat.

Here’s the point of all this.  Sports conversations are a way to build relationships and cultivate happier and more productive workplaces.  It might not seem like much, but the conversations help build camaraderie and rapport.

Are your wheels spinning?  I hope so and I’d love to hear how you would use the perfect game conversation at work.  Please leave a comment with ideas and suggestions.

 

Jen Mueller is America’s Expert Talker and sports reporter for ROOT Sports NW.  She helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work. Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join sports 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