There are things you hope your colleagues notice about you. Maybe it’s how hard you work, the pride you take in getting things done ahead of schedule or the positive attitude you bring to your job. Those things are obvious to you, but sometimes your colleagues are too dense (busy is probably more accurate) to notice or comment.
So make it easy for them.
Tell them what’s important to you in the way you talk sports.
You can’t (let’s rephrase, you shouldn’t) just walk up to colleagues and give them a tutorial on what they they should know about you, that’s weird and not a terribly effective conversation starter. Here’s what you can do – include things that are important to you in the way you talk about games, athletes, teams and outcomes. Praising a player’s work ethic clues colleagues in to the fact it’s important to you. Talking about the way a team bounces back from adversity can highlight a quality you try to bring to your own team.
Sports conversations are more than sports talk. Use them to your full advantage.
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There’s no time like the present. If that phrase is true, that makes this the best time to switch things up.
For the last 10 years I’ve posted a weekly batch of sports conversation starters every Monday. I started doing it to help bring novice sports fans up to speed on what sports-loving colleagues would be talking about during the week. I continue doing it because I believe (and know from personal experience) that being prepared for small talk pays off.
But it’s time for a change.
The weekly sports conversation starters aren’t going away, but they are going to look different. Starting in September printed version go away, replaced by a short video (60 seconds or less) that covers three to five sports topics making news that week. I’ll also be posting the video on Instagram (give me a follow @TalkSportytoMe)
And with that, here’s a look at the new version of sports ConvoStarters.
Think about the last time you asked a colleague for advice or feedback.
How did that conversation come about? Why did you choose that colleague for the conversation?
If you’re anything like me (and most people) you probably picked someone you already have a relationship with and someone you talk to on a regular basis. After all, if you’re asking for feedback or advice you want that person to have some knowledge of who you are and perspective on the situation. You wouldn’t seek out the person you rarely talk to.
Let that sink in for a minute.
If you wouldn’t go ask someone you never talk to for advice, no one is going to randomly seek you out for yours. If you want to be part of big conversations, influential conversations and the kind of conversations that get you noticed at work you need to develop relationships with your colleagues. The kind of relationship that includes regular small talk and banter.
If no one at work is coming to make small talk with you, they’re also not coming to talk to you about your next big career opportunity or to seek your input on a big decision.
Speaking of small talk, I provide a list of weekly sports conversation starters to use in small talk at work. Sign up and be in-the-know by 7am every Monday. And speaking of speaking… I share conversation strategies that demonstrate leadership potential in my latest book The Influential Conversationalist. Purchase your copy here and use daily interactions to stand out in your career.