Posted on: March 19th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

A dynamic and cohesive work environment requires conversation that goes beyond your “to-do” list at work.  Anyone can talk about work: the challenges, frustrations, successes and the like. But to really find common ground with your colleagues, you need to branch out and talk about something other than work.  Give them a break from thinking about their job for 5 minutes and take a little break yourself and invest in the people around you.  It’s easy to do if you have a ready to go topic at the tip of your tongue.

I recommend any of the sports topics listed below – particularly the NCAA tournament.  Did you know that an estimated 45% of all Americans filled out a bracket?  I bet there are a few people in your office who fall into that category.  So ask about it, and take a minute to listen to their response.   Here’s a little background to get you started.

Jen Mueller America's Expert TalkerNCAA Tournament We’re down to the Sweet 16.  All four of the top seeds are still in the tournament, which means many brackets are still intact.   But that might not be the case for long.  Top seed North Carolina could be without their point guard after he broke his wrist during the game Sunday.

  • Who’s your favorite to win now?
  • Which upsets did you predict last weekend?

NFL – Peyton Manning still hasn’t made his decision as to which team he’ll play for this season.  Many people feel the decision will be made this week.  Denver, Tennessee and San Francisco now appear in the running.

  • Where would you like to see him play?
  • How will Peyton’s decision impact all the teams in the hunt?  The quarterbacks in San Francisco, Tennessee and are already looking around at other options.  Do you think a team will be left without a quarterback when it’s all said and done?

NHL – Hockey phenom Sidney Crosby is back on the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He’s missed 40 games this season dealing with the lingering affect of a concussion.   He’s said he won’t intentionally avoid contact, but he’ll try to be less aggressive.

  • Do you think he’ll be able to stay on the ice and finish the season?
  • The Penguins are already one of the strongest teams in the NHL, how does  Crosby’s return bolster that lineup even more?

PGA – There’s a new #1 in the world of golf.  Luke Donald regained the top spot in the rankings after his win Sunday.  It ends Rory McIlroy’s 2-week reign at the top of the rankings.  Donald’s win came at the expense of Ernie Els, who now has to win in the next two weeks to avoid missing the Masters for the first time since 1993.

  • How does the competition look for the Masters right now, considering Tiger Woods’ recent injury and McIlroy’s inconsistent play?


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 for more information and read more at