Posted on: January 4th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

A friend and business colleague listed “speak with more confidence” among her New Year’s resolutions, along with “earn a promotion.”

There is a correlation.

It’s difficult for people to see how awesome you are if you can’t back it up with what you say.

It’s not just looking the part, and having a resume that looks perfect, you have to sound the part too. (If you’re among the group of people who prefer “leading by example” just know that’s only going to get you so far.)

Take every opportunity to reinforce your status as a leader.

Speak with more confidence in daily interactions. Plant the seed that you’re a kick-butt, rock star talent who’s crushing your current job responsibilities and ready for more. Click To Tweet

Don’t know how to start? Take a look at this list cultivated from the pages of The Influential Conversationalist.

  1. Smile. Make yourself approachable and you’ll make it easier for people to talk to you. (p. 81)
  2. Tell an interesting story. Boring people don’t usually become sought-after conversationalists. Make yourself relatable and develop a fanbase at work. (p 62)
  3. Develop a success statement. All it takes is 15 seconds to showcase your accomplishments in a casual conversation (p. 34)
  4. Look for ways to fail. Find ways to stretch yourself, hone your skills and respond to adversity. (p. 93)
  5. Be loud to be heard. Sometimes you literally have to speak up to assert your influence. Do it. (p. 114)

If you haven’t already picked up your copy, The Influential Conversationalist is available on Amazon.

Posted on: January 1st, 2018 by Jen Mueller

It’s my yearly exercise in gratitude. And sometimes it gets a chuckle from skeptics.

Why would I bother writing thank you notes to multi-million dollar athletes?

Because saying thank you is important. People matter and relationships count.

Football is a business, but I don’t talk to a “business” after a game. I don’t ask for interviews from a “business.”

I talk to people and I ask human beings for interviews.

Here are a few things you should know about the thank you notes I write to multi-million dollar athletes.

  1. They don’t have to talk to me – but they do. The NFL requires that players are made available to the media. Being available to talk and being willing to talk are two different things. It’s not easy to field questions about a bad day at work or a disappointing game, and yet the guys I work with answer my questions win or lose.
  2. People matter. The notes aren’t about their season stats or contributions on the field. Instead, I specifically call out how they’ve made my job easier or more enjoyable, just by being themselves.
  3. Relationships are important. Being a (good) sideline reporter requires more than football knowledge. There’s a level of trust and respect needed from the players and coaches to be effective. Thank you notes express my gratitude for the trust they’ve placed in me. The notes also ensure the last interaction with me for the year is a positive one that they can take into next season.

As a result of the relationships I develop inside an NFL locker room, I know the guys have my back, I’ll get the answers I need in a timely fashion, and they’ll be gracious even during difficult conversations (or interviews).

It doesn’t matter if you’re working with multi-million dollar athletes, highly successful corporate professionals, difference-making teachers or recent college graduates. Thank you notes work.

Relationships count and people matter.

Don’t let the business side of business overshadow the importance of the people you work with. Show gratitude to your colleagues. Click To TweetTell ‘em they matter. Place importance on fostering good relationships. It’s part of what an Influential Conversationalist does.

Jen Mueller is a rock star keynote presenter and sports broadcaster. An entire career spent in sports locker rooms gives her unique perspective on leadership and business communication skills and is the basis for her latest book The Influential Conversationalist available on Amazon.  

Posted on: December 21st, 2017 by Jen Mueller

You need more than just a solid resume to build a relationship with the people you work with. Of course your coworkers want to know you can do the job, but more importantly they want to know who you are.

Let’s put this in the context of sports. You can be the best player on the team according to the stats, but that’s not enough to make you the best teammate.

It’s important to have a relationship in place because no one is perfect. Conversations don’t always go according to plan. Projects don’t get completed to the level you expect all the time. When those things happen you need people around you who look for the best-case scenario instead of trying to find reasons to pile on and make the situation worse.

Relationships are important and they start with your communication skills. Pick up a copy of The Influential Conversationalist on Amazon. 

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