4 Ways Not to Talk to Your Family During the Holidays

Posted on: November 19th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

I love my family, but sometimes I just don’t want to talk to them.

I’d apologize for sounding like a horrible person – but I know you’ve been there too.

I know you’ve experienced some form of family drama, dealt with conversations that get too personal, or been bored by the conversations that go on and on about your second cousin’s wife’s sister who you’ve never met. And if you’re an introvert you don’t need another reason to avoid conversations altogether.

I also know that just because you don’t want to talk doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around them. If it’s easier not to talk to your family, or limit your interactions, then try these ways to communicate and connect.

4 Ways to Not Talk to Family During the Holidays

  1. Observe. Communication takes many different forms. You don’t have to be the person driving the conversation. Hang back and observe the room. Use your body language to convey you’re actively listening and if pressed on why you’re not talking more say something like, “I’m just taking it all in and observing the room.” Or “There are a lot of conversations to follow, I’m trying to keep up with all of them.”
  2. Interview. Disclaimer:Interview does not mean interrogate. It means asking questions that you’re curious about and that give someone else a chance to connect and respond. Think of yourself as a journalist doing a feature story on someone in the room and prepare questions ahead of time. The best journalists don’t wing it. When you plan ahead and identify interesting questions (Grandma, what was the first movie you remember seeing in the movie theater? Dad what was your biggest disaster in trying to cook a turkey?) you put yourself in the driver’s seat and lessen the pressure for you to engage in more lengthy conversations.
  3. Help. Pick a task or a chore that needs to be done and do it. Like the dishes, setting the table, all those things you were (probably) taught to do as a kid. Do them. Having a task provides some structure around your day and helps break interactions into more manageable chunks of time. (If you really don’t want to talk to anyone pick the task that requires using a knife. No one will want to distract you.)
  4. Organize an activity. Set up a puzzle, pull out the board games or watch sports and place silly wagers on what’s happening. For example, bet a piece of candy the next fan shown in the stands is wearing glasses, or wager a penny on which commercial gets shown next. You don’t have to be a sports fan to use sports as a distraction, outlet and even a family bonding opportunity.

Don’t distance yourself from people who love and care about you because you don’t know what to say or don’t want to say anything. Use these strategies to reduce the amount of time you spend talking to family while still finding ways to connect.

Jen Mueller is a badass at business communication and the author of three business communication books. In addition, she talks for a living as the Seattle Seahawks radio sideline reporter and as a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team on ROOT Sports. Jen’s approach to business communication is based on nearly 20 years inside sports locker rooms. It leads to practical strategies and entertaining presentations. Hire Jen for your next conference or event – Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com

Give Yourself a Sporting Chance

Posted on: November 18th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

When I suggest you talk sporty every week or give yourself a sporting chance on a regular basis it’s not because I think you should know everything about sports or talk to every sports fans you come in contact with. What I’m actually suggesting is that you prepare for potential conversations about sports. Being prepared means you won’t be afraid, shocked or anxious when the moment to speak up actually happens.

These conversation starters are about broadening your sports knowledge base and being prepared for what could happen next.

Jen Mueller is a badass at business communication. She’s also the radio sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and a member of the ROOT Sports television broadcast team based in Seattle. No one can match Jen’s take on business communication so hire her for your next conference or team meeting. Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com 

Talking Seahawks: Talking = Success

Posted on: November 15th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

Sports fans often point to stats, awards and accolades, when talking about favorite athletes or teams. It’s a natural way to quantify success. Win a championship, earn an MVP award, rack up a ton of wins and it’s obvious you’re successful, right? Yes, and maybe not to the degree you think.

If fans had the opportunity to talk to athletes and coaches the same way I do as a broadcaster and sideline reporter they’d realize the same thing:

Stats quantify productivity. Communication skills make the biggest impact.

I’ve lost track of the number of times the Seahawks have made comments in recent weeks about the importance of and the need for good communication but here are a few examples:

Last week Bobby Wagner noted it was important for the young guys to ask question because, “Asking a question starts a conversation that gets the answers you need.”

When Bradley McDougald praised the growth of rookie Tre Flowers this week one of the first things he commented on was how much Flowers communication had improved.

Last week I asked several players about what happened on big plays that shouldn’t have happened and not a single one said, “We didn’t have the talent to get it done.” You know what they said instead? “We need to communicate better.”

If stats, or numbers (sales numbers, number of clients, years in the business, years of education, salary, etc..) is the only way you measure of success, you’re not as successful as you think you are.

Communication skills always play a role in success.

The ability to communicate effectively with colleagues increases your productivity, improves your chances of overcoming obstacles and sets up future success.

When you don’t communicate effectively things break down. Plays break down on the football field. Trust breaks down in your office. Success won’t happen at the rate you think it should on paper. Click To Tweet

You – just like the athletes – have trained yourself to have the skills and talent you need to get the job done. Make sure you also empower yourself with communication skills that allow you make a big impact.

I’ve got couple ways for you to do that. First, take a look at my Becoming an Influential Conversationalist mentorship program and see if the 5-week program is a fit for you and register for the January session.

Secondly, if the conversation strategies mentioned in the program would benefit your entire staff, send me an email Jen@TalkSportytoMe.comto set up a private training just for your team.

Jen Mueller is the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks. She’s also a badass at business communication and a business owner, which is why she often hears what players say in the context of business conversations. As the founder of Talk Sporty to Me, Jen works with business professionals to help them improve face-to-face communication skills and teaches them how to leverage sports conversations in business. You won’t mean a business communication badass quite like Jen. Hire her to speak at your next conference or training: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com 



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