I recently talked to a former major league pitcher who still works with several active players in the league. After years of playing games and watching games, he shared with me that he rarely watches an entire 9-inning game. He does rely quite a bit on box scores in the newspaper however. He looks at his travel schedule and will send a short text message to a player he plans to meet with during the week. The message will be short and sweet, something along the lines of “Nice game last night against that lineup.” Or “That’s some hitting streak you’re on.”
It doesn’t sound like much, but he says the short exchanges make it much easier to engage in a full conversation when he gets a chance to meet up in person. The text messages help build rapport and show interest. It’s also a way to engage before you actually need something. If you only call or text when you need something like a favor, or a work project, it counteracts your attempt at effective communication.
The approach works for major league players, but it also works for you.
- Notice that you don’t have to watch an entire game to be able to talk about the game. If you don’t know how to read a box score, just read the sports headlines in your local newspaper. Those headlines will give you a snapshot into the top sports stories in your area.
- Then use that information to engage in short exchanges. A simple comment like “Nice win for your team last night,” can help establish a connection and lead to effective communication in the workplace.
So go ahead and make it easy on yourself and take a couple shortcuts!
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is the Founder and CEO of Talk Sporty to Me. Jen is committed to helping you boost your interpersonal skills, engage in more effective communication and reap the rewards of productive conversations. She’s available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com