This week, there’s a good chance you’ll hear a lot of sports talk in the office because of the hot headlines in basketball, football and golf.
When you hear the conversations come up, stick around and participate. Those conversations are a great way to build rapport with your coworkers, and break through communication barriers at work. You don’t have to be a huge sports fan to join in. Simply read through the topics listed below, click on the links if you want more information and ask the questions provided.
Remember, these conversations won’t last long – at least they shouldn’t last long. This is just workplace chitchat, so picking up on a couple key points will give you more than enough information to engage in a 2-3 minute conversation.
Let’s get started!
NFL – The word “bounty” is making headlines this week due to an NFL investigation that former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams implemented a “bounty” system during his time with the Saints. The system paid defensive players for big hits and rewarded “knock outs” and “cart offs,” meaning the injured player was knocked out of the game or carted off the field. This violates NFL rules. Williams is under investigation and the league is looking into all the teams he’s coached for.
- Professional football is a violent sport. Does this news surprise you?
- How much blame/responsibility falls on the coach, in this case, versus the players who carried out the system?
NCAA – The beginning of March signals the beginning of March Madness for college basketball fans. This week expect to hear news about conference tournaments. The winner of each tournament gets an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. The full bracket will be announced Sunday, or on ‘Selection Sunday’ as hoops fans would say. You’ll also hear talk about “bubble teams.” Those are teams who’s fate is up in the air and there’s questions as to whether or not they’ll make the 64 team tournament. The link gives a rundown of a few of those teams.
- How’s your team done this season?
- Which team can make some noise this week during conference tournaments?
NBA – Did you see the numbers Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo put up against the NY Knicks? Rondo scored 18 points, dished out 20 assists and collected, a career-high, 17 rebounds. That stat line is a “triple-double” because Rondo put up double-digit stats in 3 categories. Rondo’s posted a triple-double 4 times this year, but it’s the totals that make this instance so impressive. The last player to exceed Rondo’s performance in each category was Wilt Chamberlin in 1968.
- What more does Rondo need to do to help the Celtics make the playoffs?
- If you measured your work performance in a stat line, what would it include?
PGA – The golf world has a new #1. Rory McIlroy defeated Tiger Woods Sunday to claim the top spot. McIlroy is the second youngest golfer to be ranked #1 in the world. The youngest? Tiger himself, and he almost kept McIlroy out of the top spot. Tiger shot a 62 on the final round of the Honda Class, his lowest final round score in 17 years on the PGA Tour. That score allowed him to move within 2 strokes of winning the tournament, but Rory held on.
- Do you think Tiger is on the cusp of being dominate again?
- Rory McIlory didn’t wilt under the pressure of Tiger in the final round. What does this say about his game and confidence?
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work. Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join the conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how to use sports conversations to their advantage 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com