VIDEO: Increase Your Influence – Building Rapport Through Conversations

Posted on: December 7th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

As a young sports broadcaster I worried about how I was going to get guys to take me seriously. I was concerned about building a reputation that showed I meant business.

I asked everyone I could think of what I should do.

In the end, I realized the best course of action was to show up consistently and treat the conversations I had every day as if they were a valuable business tool – because they are.

The way you approach daily interactions sets you apart and helps demonstrate your potential as a leader. If you’re not approaching conversations with the five factors from the video in mind then you’re missing out. Take a look and then take a closer look at how you think about conversations with colleagues and co-workers.

Jen Mueller is a badass at business communication she’s also the author of The Influential Conversationalist and provides practical conversation strategies based on nearly 20 years as a sports broadcaster. Jen currently serves as the radio sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. Jen is the founder of Talk Sporty to Me and a sought after keynote speaker on leadership, communication and empowering women. Contact Jen via email: 

#Winning: When Good Things Happen to Hard-Working People

Posted on: December 5th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

I marvel at how the athletes do it.

As a sports broadcaster and sideline reporter I’ve covered professional sports teams for almost 20 years. I’ve been in the middle of post-game celebrations and conducted the post-game interviews after some of the biggest wins in Seattle sports history. And I just recognized there’s an entirely different skillset needed to win versus compete.

Perhaps it’s also why I finally realized I struggle with success.

I’ve always been the grinder. I pride myself on being able to outwork the competition and outlast everyone else. That’s the kind of talent needed to compete. It’s also the kind of mindset that will inspired you to push the boulder up the hill without knowing how far you need to go. It’s the what allows you to ignore the fact that you’re exhausted and hang on to the belief that someday it will all be worth it.

But what happens when all that hard work starts to pay off. What do you do when good things happen to a hard-working person like you?

I’ll tell you what I did. I freaked out.

As a business owner, I’ve experienced more success in the last three months than I have in the first eight and a half years in business. It’s everything I always wanted – minus feeling sick to my stomach when a new client inquires about hiring me or gladly says yes to my speaking fee.

I actually found myself wishing I could just keep pushing the boulder up the hill. Not because it was easy, or because I wanted the continued challenge without any payoff, but because it was familiar, comfortable and kept me from feeling like a fraud.

Here’s what I discovered on a personal level – you have to be prepared to win.

You have to plan for success. Be prepared to handle the point in your career or your business when good things start happening to hard working people. Click To Tweet

If you’ve been grinding hoping for success, here are few things you need to know when the wins start to pile up.

5 Ways to Respond When Good Things Happen to Hard Working People

  1. Acknowledge your expertise. You might feel like a fraud, but your resume says otherwise. You are not an overnight success. (No one is.) You’ve spent years developing your skillset, knowledge and expertise. Be confident in knowing your success isn’t an accident.
  2. Continue to do good work. Don’t let the start of your success be the end of it. Don’t quit or pull back from what you’re doing because success feels uncomfortable. You don’t have it all figured out. There is still plenty of work to be done. (Unless you’ve already made all the money your bank account can handle.)
  3. Be grateful. Success is what you wanted, and it’s benefitting others. Maybe your success means you can pay off student loans, support your family, influence a community or generously give back to your community. Whatever the impact, you make a difference in this world. Be grateful you’re in this position.
  4. Recognize there’s more to learn. Just because you’re thankful or grateful that hard work pays off doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Being the “expert” the guy or gal in charge doesn’t mean you have all the answers and won’t make a mistake. It means you’re the one with the skills to figure it out, so don’t shy away from your success.
  5. Affirm your success. When someone congratulates you on your success and you say things like, “It’s not a big deal.” Or “Oh, it was nothing.” Or “It wasn’t that hard.” You’re lying. You can only lie to yourself and to other people for so long before it catches up to you. You feel like a fraud when what you say about yourself doesn’t match what people say about you.

Learning to be successful is just as important as the work that made you successful.

Athletes make success and winning look easy. It’s not. Develop a success statement now. Start planning for how you’ll take responsibility for your accomplishments. Stop looking for busy work to occupy your time because it’s easier than taking meaningful steps that lead to success.

Good things do happen to hard-working people. It’s called success. It goes hand in hand with winning and it’s part of being a leader.

Jen Mueller is a badass at business communication and the founder of Talk Sporty to Me. She’s also the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. Jen’s experience inside professional sports locker rooms gives her a unique take on business communication. The conversation strategies she provides take the guesswork out of effective communication and make every conversation more productive. Interested in hiring Jen for your next conference, training session or keynote? Send her an email:

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 –

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