Posted on: May 29th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Welcome back to work after a holiday weekend.

I’m on the road again, traveling in Jackson Tennessee and covering minor league baseball this week.  I usually travel to much larger cities, but my trip here reminds me of the benefits of fitting in.  I have a limited amount of time to do a lot of work.  Finding common ground with the folks here in Jackson helps build a quick working relationship that enables me to work more efficiently and effectively.  I need the help of the PR director, the players, coaches and fans to hit my deadlines.  That assistance comes much easier when I can fit in and find common ground.

Jen Mueller's sports conversation starters for the week

I’m finding common ground through baseball conversations.  You can use sports conversations in the same way this week.  Even if you’re not the biggest sports fan in the world being willing and able to engage in sports fan in your office will help you get ‘buy in’ and allow you work more efficiently.  And before you ask, this is not about manipulating the situation to get what you want.   This tactic is a way to show genuine interest in something that interests your coworker.

Here are a few hot sports topics this week that will help you get the conversation started.  Simply read the short description and ask the questions provided.

NBA – We’ve reached the conference championships and it’s the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat battling in the East and the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder in the West.  The winner of these series will play in the NBA Finals.

NHL The Stanley Cup Finals are set.  It’s the Los Angels Kings and the New Jersey Devils battling for the Stanley Cup.  Game one of that series is Wednesday and Game 7 (if needed) is June 13.  The Kings are trying to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.  The Devils have appeared in 5 Finals since 1995.

  • Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick plays well against the Devils and New Jersey goalkeeper is 40 years old and has seemingly lost a step.  How will this storyline impact the series?
  • The Kings have won 3 series in just a total of 14 games.  That’s very efficient and it looks like it’s been easy for them.  The Devils have struggled to close out games in the same way.  Who has the upper hand in this series?

MLB – There’s a number of teams dealing with starting pitching issues.  The Philadelphia Phillies are a bit of a surprise in that regard.  Their aces are struggling. Roy Halladay will see a doctor Tuesday due to a sore shoulder and Cliff Lee hasn’t won a game yet this is year.

  • What happens to a team when they’re not getting production from their pitchers?
  • Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale is emerging as one of the best young pitchers in the league.  Who has impressed you so far this season? 

Tennis – The French Open is underway.  It’s one of the major tournaments in the tennis season.  Maria Sharapova won her first round match 6-0, 6-0.  That’s a perfect score.

  • Sharapova won the Australian Open earlier this year.  Does this dominance mean she’s on the road to winning the French and a possible Grand Slam as well?
  • What would you like to get a perfect score in?

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