The Influential Conversationalist

Posted on: August 10th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

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.

Small talk is not optional. It is required for building relationships with colleagues and getting to where you want to be in your career. Click To Tweet

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.

Jen Mueller Featured Business Owner on Truth Telling from the Trenches

Posted on: August 8th, 2018 by Jen Mueller

I never intended to start a business.

It just kind of happened.

I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced accidental entrepreneurship.

I also know that if I had it do all over again, I would have made different decisions in the beginning. (I wouldn’t have spent so much money in the first few years, and I would have been more strategic in targeting specific markets, for starters.)

You’ll go through your own ups, downs and epiphanies as a business owner, but if my experiences can help make it easier, I’m all for sharing. That’s why I was thrilled to be the featured entrepreneur on the Truth Telling from the Trenches series at DebbiePage.com.

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • My approach to productivity and balancing my full-time job as a sports reporter and being a business owner (Yes, you can have a successful side hustle without compromising your full-time responsibilities.)
  • The overly simple strategy I used to grow my business.
  • And the reason you should strive to be a rock star instead of a superhero.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

I’m always happy to share my experiences and would be happy to join you on your podcast or featured blog post. Drop me a line Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com

Practicing Leadership

Posted on: July 31st, 2018 by Jen Mueller

I saw an article recently on the 10 Things That Make a Great Boss, according to a decade of Google research. There was nothing earth-shattering about the list, but it did serve as a good reminder of the skills needed to become an effective leader, or boss.

Among the few that jumped out to me: being a good coach, creating a team environment, and being a good communicator. Those three elements are the basis for every successful team I’ve covered throughout my sports broadcasting career.

It’s also why I draw from what I see in sports when I’m looking for leadership lessons and for ways to practice leadership.

Leaders make big decisions, but they biggest decision leaders make is paying attention to the way they handle the seemingly small things.

It’s the way you choose your words, the way you help others find their place and the way you advocate for those who are deserving of accolades or a new opportunity.

This is what leadership looks like…

Mariners shortstop Jean Segura should have made the All-Star team. All you had to do was look at his numbers to realize he is among the best in baseball in several offensive categories. At the time the All-Star voting was completed there were only four players in all of baseball with a better batting average than Segura.

And yet, he didn’t make it. Not on the first try, anyway. It took help from his teammates and fans to win the Final Vote and get his chance to play in the All-Star game. I’ve mentioned before that your work doesn’t speak for itself. Segura is proof of that. You’ve got to be able/willing to take credit for what you bring to the table.

You also need to advocate for others. That’s what leadership looks like. The fact that Segura benefited from having colleagues campaign on his behalf is a reminder the people you work with could use an advocate too. Be the person who helps others be seen.

Practicing Leadership

Choose your words carefully.

The way you describe a situation, person, outcome or event says a lot about you.

Remember, people are looking for clues on who you are and what you’re like. Don’t give them the wrong impression

And there’s this…

“Be the person who walks bravely into a new group and welcomes others into yours. There is a place for everyone. Find your place and help others find theirs.”

That quote came from a children’s book written by my friend Emily Jones. Helping others find their place isn’t just something kids should practice, it’s how good leaders approach their teams.

Encourage colleagues to start practicing leadership right where they are in their career. Send this along and have them click here to join the Practicing Leadership list to get practical tips every month.

Jen Mueller is a rock star keynote presenter and a veteran sports broadcaster. She is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team and the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks. After nearly 20 years in sports, she’s developed a unique and practical take on business communication (because she actually talks for a living!) For speaking inquires email Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com 

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