Posted on: March 7th, 2011 by Jen Mueller

Football fans are holding their breath this week waiting to see if the league and owners can hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement and avoid a potential work stoppage and lock out this year.  There’s a lot at stake on both sides, there’s also a lot of information that deals with legal terms and details that can make your head spin.

I’ve heard interviews with several athletes in other sports who enjoy watching football and have been asked their opinion on the negotiations and labor situation.  PGA golfer Phil Mickelson was one of those athletes.  When asked his opinion he answered honestly and set boundaries for the conversation.   His response sounded much like this.

“You know I haven’t been able to stay on top of everything in those talks, so I don’t want to weigh in on the subject too much, but I enjoy watching football so I hope it gets worked out. “


Take a closer look at the components of his answer:

–       He was honest in saying he didn’t have all the details.

–       He set boundaries regarding what he felt comfortable talking about

–       He expressed an interest so as not to make the interviewer feel uncomfortable, and enabling the conversation to continue.

It’s a good formula to follow the next time you feel uncomfortable or unsure of the topic at hand particularly if you’re engaging in a conversation with your co-workers. You don’t need to lie or pretend you know more about the subject than you actually do.  Just be honest, set boundaries and encourage the conversation to continue.

And with that, go and converse with confidence!