Hit a Home run! How Talking Sports Can Help Your Career

Sports as an icebreaker.  As more women enter management and higher level positions in the business world, it helps to have a common ground with colleagues — a conversation thread that isn’t work related, but still gives co-workers, and even competitors, something to talk about to establish a relationship and build trust. With other women, you can talk ‘shoes,’ ‘clothes,’ or even haircuts! (Hard to do that with a guy)! So how to bond with your male co-workers? Or that new manager? Or even the guy at the networking event? Sports is often a safe and smooth ‘ice-breaker.’ Being able to have those conversations is only going to help you with your business relationships, which in turn, will increase your likelihood of success.  

I grew up playing sports – basketball, skiing, water-skiing, tennis, baseball, soccer – you name it, we played it. So from school-age on, I’ve always had a sports vocabulary, from ‘taking it to the hoop’ to ‘hitting a home run’ – sports, teams, and players have been a big part of my conversations.

Little did I know that being comfortable ‘talking sports’ would help me professionally.  I worked primarily with guys, interviewed a lot of guys, and had to be comfortable in a number of situations, from walking onto the scene of a house fire, to covering a murder investigation, to sitting in on a city planning meeting. Being able to talk sports was my entrée into many male-dominated situations. It helped me establish credibility in situations where knowing ‘who hit the game-winning run in last night’s game’ was a conversation starter, even if the lead police detective didn’t want to talk to me about their murder investigation. ‘Right off the bat’ (pardon the expression), I had an opener about last night’s game that could lead to a conversation, that lead to ‘yeah, she might know what she’s talking about’ that, in turn, could often lead to information for my murder story I never would have gotten if I didn’t talk sports.

Here’s your chance: to learn how men and women communicate differently, and how to use that information to help you with your workplace relationships, GoGirl Academy is partnering with Jen Mueller, local sports reporter and the creative mind behind ‘Talk Sporty To Me,’ for a workshop on March 23rd in Seattle, teaching women how to talk sports, build relationships in the workplace and increase their credibility. We’re limiting this event to 12 women, and we have a few seats remaining. Check out our registration at http://bit.ly/talksporty, to make sure you can always ‘bring your A-game!’ We’d love to see you there!

Posted by Margo Myers

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