Posted on: June 5th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

If you have sports fans in your office chances are there’s been a discussion about Tiger Woods recently.  As we discussed in Monday’s conversation starters blog he just tied his childhood idol Jack Nicklaus for PGA tour wins.

Using sports at work to build rapportTiger Woods became a household name more than a decade ago for his ability to win golf tournaments.  His performance increased the appeal of the sport.

In recent years however, Woods made headlines for a personal scandal that ended his marriage and dramatically impacted his game.

You didn’t have to follow the story very closely to get the dramatic details.  All the information you needed was in the headlines.  Take a look at these examples.

  • Tiger Woods injured in early morning car crash (CNN, November 2009)
  • Tiger Woods Press Conference: ‘I Had Affairs, I Cheated.”  (Zimbio, February 2010)
  • Tiger Woods’ caddy says sex scandal came as a surprise (CNN, March 2010)
  • Tiger Woods and wife divorce after sex scandal (Rueters, August 2010)
  • Tiger Woods slump reaches major proportions ( August 2011)
  • Tiger Woods breaks his slump at Bay Hill (, March 2012)
  • Tiger Woods takes Memorial, ties Jack Nicklaus on PGA Tour Wins (, June 2012)

It’s pretty easy to piece together the story by reading the headlines alone.  It’s one of the many reasons I tell business professionals to read sports headlines every day. They might not be familiar with the story, athlete or sport to start, but as you can see with the Tiger Woods example, over time it becomes more evident.

When reading headlines becomes a habit, you’ll feel left out less often, and you’ll be able to join in the conversation more often.  Talking about things other than work help build rapport and camaraderie among your colleagues.

Sports talk helps overcome key barriers to communication at work.  Learn how in Jen Mueller’s new program “What Do I Say? Get Noticed and Promoted.”   She’ll show you how to improve your conversation skills and move up the corporate ladder without working any harder.  What are you waiting for?  Get started today!