It’s been suggested that I stop trying to get people to talk about sports at work because it makes some people uncomfortable. As in, if they’re not already sports fans, it’s uncomfortable to be put in a situation where they are asked to talk sports.
I’ve got a couple problems with that. The first being, that nearly every time this topic is brought up, the assumption is made that it’s women who will struggle most in trying to talk sports. Wrong. There’s also an assumption that shouldn’t have to talk about something you’re not comfortable with. Wrong, again.
You’re not always going to be interested in topics that come up in business settings and you’re not always going to be an expert in the subject matter at hand. It doesn’t mean you shut down or back out of the conversation. You’ve need a way to put yourself in the best position possible in every conversation, sports or otherwise.
When you step outside your comfort zone and talk sports, you’re developing the skills needed to handle a potentially uncomfortable situation and setting yourself up to handle bigger conversations down the line.
Purchase and download the How to Talk Sporty Guide for all you need to know about becoming a sports fan and making sports useful in business.
Jen Mueller is a rock star keynote speaker. She takes an outside-the-box approach to business communication based on nearly 20 years inside professional sports locker rooms. She currently serves as the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. Hire Jen for your next conference or event: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com