Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

Out of the mouths of children…

I snuck out of town for a couple days this week to visit the Happiest Place on Earth.  While waiting in line to ride on the teacups, I noticed that my younger companion, an 11- year old family friend named Logan was quite the talker.  And not in an annoying way.  He was intelligent and engaging and didn’t seem to mind talking to adults, in fact he was really good at it.

On my flight home from Disneyland, I became intrigued by a conversation across the aisle between a businessman and a 14 year old.  The teenager was traveling by himself.  The gentleman was traveling home after a business trip.  Midway through the flight I was struck by the conversation skills of the teenager.  He was well spoken and articulate.  My eves-dropping ears picked up conversations about sports, school, boyhood stunts involving skateboards, college plans and family matters.  The unlikely pair chatted for more than an hour.

I have no doubt that Logan and the teenager on the plane will grow up to be successful adults.  Why?  Because they can communicate in a way that causes people to take notice, listen and engage.

Studies have shown that the ability to communicate is the top predictor of success.  These kids get it.  Do you?

Here are 3 things these kids executed during the conversations that you can apply to your workplace interactions.

  1. Friendliness pays off.  What’s that old saying, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? Both of these kids smiled and were pleasant to be around.
  2. Specifically direct answers yield results.  Ever found yourself saying ‘I don’t care,” or “I don’t know,” when someone asks what you want?  I didn’t hear these kids saying that.  They were very specific in their requests whether it was Logan naming the ride he wanted to go on, or the teenager asking the businessman if he could read his unused newspaper.  And you know what? They both got what they were asking for.
  3. Putting fear aside.  I was really impressed with the conversations that both boys had that involved topics they weren’t familiar with.  The teenager on the plane started asking business questions and questions about the businessman’s family.  Logan asked questions about my life and my job.  I know many adults who get tongue-tied in these situations, kudos to these boys who get it.

If you’d like more conversation help check out the free resources on my website.   You’ll be holding an audience like these two in no time!


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 in, sound intelligent, and understand how to leverage sports conversation 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