Have you ever stopped to consider the importance of relatability in your career?
Being exceptional at your job is one thing.
Being able to understand and relate to the people around you is what allows you to be effective at doing your job.
The best leaders know how to relate to the people they’re leading.
After all, a leader who can’t relate (and doesn’t even try) is more like the dictator type don’t you think?
Sports is one of the ways leaders (and you!) can relate to the people around you.
If you’re already a sports fan make sure you’re not overlooking potential sports fans you could be talking to.
For example, do you refrain from talking sports with women but assume all guys are sports fans? Do you think of football fans as “true” sports fans while forgetting about the triathletes in your office?
Here’s my note and reminder to you: watch out for biases that show up in small talk and sports talk. Keep an open mind in your small talk conversations and use them to build relationships and increase your relatability.
If you’re not a sports fan here are three way to build your sports knowledge base:
- Read sports headlines.
- Pick a local team to follow.
- Focus on one player.
And if you’re not interested in the game or sport itself perhaps you’d like to talk about these topics that pair well with sports: travel, food and fan experience. (The full blog is here.)
Lastly, one conversation doesn’t solve all your problems or get things done at work. Plan to have more than one conversation with colleagues because success requires more than one action. Follow up strategies aren’t just for sales and networking they are for everyday conversations.
Speaking of every day conversations – you’ve got a chance to talk to a leader and learn how to approach conversations with colleagues, clients and yourself. Karen Phelps Moyer is an serial entrepreneur and philanthropist.
She should probably add badass to her resume, and she joins me May 23 for the next online leadership development training session. Register here to take advantage of the early bird rate.