Posted on: November 3rd, 2010 by Jen Mueller

New Mariners manager Eric Wedge came and spoke to the FSN staff this week and shed some light on what will happen after he hires his staff.

He’ll get to know each person, as an individual.

That’s it.  Sounds simple right, but Wedge made it very clear that even though he is anxious and excited to get going and get to work – he won’t even talk business until he gets to know each member of his staff.  According to Wedge,  you have to build a foundation, credibility and trust before you can really dig in and work hard together.  The coach he’s working with needs to know Wedge cares and is invested in his life.  Once that is established, then they can dig in and get to work.

That’s a pretty solid approach and one that applies to each and every one of us.  If we take the time to invest in our co-workers and show them we care, we will work better together.  And when we run into challenges, deadlines or a project that requires extra effort, we’ve got a solid relationship with our co-workers to work through it.

The problem is you can’t gain credibility over night.   Developing good communication skills and solid relationships takes time.  But a sports conversation can help you cut to the chase.   Sports builds instant credibility with many people particularly men.  Asking me about my favorite team will get you major bonus points in my book.  I’ll appreciate an opportunity to share my passion and I’ll enjoy working with you.   Plus you’ve got a built in conversation starter to help continue the conversations and keep the communication going.

Of course, this is just the first step, ultimately nothing will replace the time factor but it’s a solid step and one that will go a long way in building credibility with your co-workers.

The alternative isn’t pretty – just think about what happened to Brad Childress and the Minnesota Vikings. The latest Jen Mueller Expert Talker blog deals with how his communication breakdown affected an entire organization