Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

Welcome to a new week and new sports topics to use in conversations with your colleagues. This cheat sheet is designed to do a few things:

  1. Help you grow your sports knowledge base.
  2. Keep you “in-the-know” on the most-talked about topics making news.
  3. Provide sports convo starters suitable for work.

There are lots of different ways to talk sports and certainly more topics than we have time or space to cover here. Not all topics are appropriate for conversations with colleagues and not all topics are equal when looking for ways to make sports useful in business.

All of this is to say, this weekly cheat sheet is created with you in mind! Use these topics this week:

Want these #ConvoStarters delivered right to you inbox every Monday? Just leave your name in the box marked “Let’s Do This!” and you’ll be all set by 7am every Monday morning.

Posted on: April 13th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

I grew up a baseball fan, so I look forward to this time of year when we’ve got endless baseball games to talk about and plenty of long, warm summer days at the ballpark to look forward to.

I realize that not everyone feels the same way. But whether you’re a baseball fan or not, there’s no avoiding the fact that baseball will make news through October. Instead of being left of of sports conversations at work, join in. It’s easy if you follow these three steps:

Remember, it’s not your job to know everything there is to know about the local baseball team. (Technically, that’s my job.) . This skill set – being able to talk sports – gives you the greatest opportunity to connect with colleagues, become a good conversationalist and increase your influence at work. It’s another tool to add to your business communication tool kit.

Want to make it easier to follow sports headlines on a weekly basis? Sign up to become sports savvy by 7am every Monday by leaving your name in the box marked, “Let’s Do This!”

Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast on ROOT Sports NW and serves as the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks. She founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and advocates using sports as a business tool. Hire Jen for an outside-the-box business communication presentation that your team will love. Contact Jen via email: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com. 

Posted on: March 29th, 2017 by Jen Mueller

I love making to-do lists.

Sometimes I write things on my list so that I’ll be able to cross them off.

​​I’m a do-er. It’s how I measure a successful day. I’m really good at getting things done.

What ​I could use is more situational awareness to see what I’m missing around me. Perhaps you’re in the same boat.

I know that sometimes you’ve got to put your head down and work, but if you get too caught up in yourself and your to-do list, you won’t recognize what’s going on around you – including the messages your colleagues are sending.

Before you take that the wrong way and assume they’d only talk to you if they had a problem, consider this – what if they’re actually encouraging you to pursue larger roles? What if they’re trying to tell you they’d like to hear more from you, not less?

One of the guys I work with dealt with this problem a couple years ago. He didn’t lack situational awareness, as much as he let his insecurities drown out the message his colleagues were sending. They wanted him to step up, to be the leader. His colleagues saw potential that he didn’t recognize in himself. He ignored it. Until he finally had to acknowledge it.

“In 2014 I embraced it and it wasn’t just because I started to feel it and embrace it. It was because my team mates were telling me. They were calling me the leader, “The Enforcer.” If you’re a Seattle Seahawks football fan, you might recognize the nickname that belongs to Pro-Bowl Safety Kam Chancellor. His situational awareness on the field is unmatched, but in the locker room it took a little while.

​He can say ‘No’ all he wants, but if he was chosen to be a leader he’s just fighting the inevitable,” said Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Situational awareness doesn’t make you egotistical. It makes you cognizant of what colleagues want from you.

“It’s hard for me to call myself things,” Chancellor said. “I don’t like to do it because it feels like I’m boasting even though it’s not. I just don’t like to do that, but to hear them say over and over I knew it was time to embrace it.”

“If you carry yourself in a way that attracts the right people you’re naturally going to be a leader because people are going to look up to you, be interested in the things you’re doing, and want to imitate and ask questions,” Wagner said. “In that sense that is what leaders are. They’ve got a lot of people who look up to them and want them to help, and I feel that’s really what leaders do, they help.”

Leaders not only need the qualities that draw people to them, but the situational awareness to know when it’s time to step up.

If colleagues are asking you to step into a larger role – get out of your own head and do it. Acknowledge your talent and lead.Kam Chancellor spent years, going back to his middle school days, ignoring the pleas of his teammates and coaches to be a leader. In the end it only delayed becoming becoming one of the most-respected voices in the locker room.

What about you? What kind of feedback have you received from colleagues recently? What comments or compliments have you brushed off in an effort to stay humble? What insecurity keeps you from stepping into larger roles?

​If you want to develop your leadership skills and step into larger rolls, listen to the people around you and take action.

​This is one sports example that translates to a business conversation. I can help you find lots more. Make sure you leave your name in the box marked “Let’s Do This!” to get business communication tips and sports #ConvoStarters delivered right to your inbox.

​Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, serves as the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter and is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. She founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and advocates using sports conversations as a business tool. Hire Jen to speak to your company Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com 

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