Improving your relationships at work, increasing your visibility and raising productivity all lead to more opportunities and greater success, but none of it can happen without good communication skills. Developing those skills at work takes more than talking about work 24/7. Getting to know your coworkers and establishing genuine connections requires personal interaction.
I started Talk Sporty to Me in 2009, after being approached by a group of successful, high-powered women who recognized they were missing out on valuable business opportunities.
The women were watching their male colleagues entertain clients at sporting events, but they weren’t attending the games themselves. A failure to get in the game was limiting their opportunities to advance and succeed.
Since then, I’ve taught, hundreds of people how to use sports conversations to increase their business opportunities. But I still get the question, “Why sports?” The simple answer – your ability to participate in sports conversations makes your more likable and visible in the workplace. It enables you to engage in conversations with anyone, even non-sports fans.
Let me be very clear about one thing – This strategy is not about folding to peer pressure and trying to act like male counterparts. It’s about increasing your access and appeal to the largest audience possible.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Sports Works in Workplace Conversations:
1. It’s a “safe” subject. One not likely to start a war of words in the break room. Remember the goal is to talk more, not fight more.
2. Sports conversations appeal to a large audience. From hard-core football fans to casual baseball watchers, soccer moms and dog show lovers – sports fans are everywhere.
3. Increases your likability. When you appeal to a large audience and can meet them on their turf, you become more likeable which increases the likelihood they will want to talk with you and do business with you.
4. Sports conversations are easily customizable. Don’t limit yourself to just talking about the game, use sports convos to talk about different parts of the country, particular players, childhood memories, just to name a few ideas.
5. Sporting events/games are timely. This makes it DVR proof. Most sports fans don’t watch games days later, which means you have fresh material daily.
6. Provides multiple follow up opportunities. The fact that sports seasons are timely and ongoing mean you can talk about a different game, player, team or topic every day. Allowing you to stay in contact with people without always ‘talking shop.’
7. Sports topics allow for short and sweet conversations. There’s no need to engage in a 2 hour conversation, simply making a quick comment about last night’s game is enough to show an interest and keep the lines of communication open.
8. Satisfies conversational needs of both men and women. Simply put men seek information and women want intimacy. Encouraging the exchange of information about a game, player, team keeps the men happy while the women enjoy the connection built in a conversation.
9. Sports conversations grant access to personal information. Learning about a coworker’s favorite team, for example, can open the conversation about where he or she grew up, the number of siblings they had, where they went to school, etc…
10. It’s easy to follow. Sports conversations don’t require a level of expertise or extensive knowledge. Reading the headlines on the sports page will provide enough info to stay in the know.
I’ve got an entire process that will help you get up to speed on the hottest sports topics in just 5 minutes a day. Interested? Intrigued? Drop me a line at Jen@TalkSportyToMe.com and book me to speak to your group. And sign up for the Top 10 Communication Mistakes That will Undermine Your Business Success.
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 practical and humorous approach 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
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