Sports talk breaks the ice in businessby Judith Bowman on 06/21/15
Sports is THE single biggest, universally accepted topic when it comes to making “small talk” at work.
Remember, “small talk” is a really inappropriate expression for something that should be called the complete opposite: “big talk” … “really important talk” because … it’s the ice breaker. It’s what helps break the ice to help place others at ease, to build trust and grow relationships.
Sports bring people, companies, nations together. People unite, become allies and break barriers when talking about virtually any sport … and there is power in being united. Sports transcends color, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background, industry, age, rank status.
The emotions sports topics evoke are intoxicating and allow us to temporarily “unplug” while at the same time, connect to an altogether different world, with virtually anyone.
Whether we are welcoming a first time visitor at work or bumping into a little-known co-worker at the water cooler, sports topics present the opportunity to make people feel at ease, connected and advance relationships.
It pays to have a grasp of the basics:
- Make appoint of knowing how i.e. the Red Sox are doing.
- Stay up to speed on “Deflategate” and whether it will ultimately tarnish Tom Brady’s legacy.
- There’s 2026 World Cup soccer and FIFA scandal: the world’s most popular game is at the heart of one of the most egregious scandals in sports history.
- Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah (born in Kentucky) has an Egyptian owner, a Mexican Jockey and an American trainer (born in Arizona). Last Winner: Affirmed, 37 years ago (1978,) Seattle Slew, 1977, and the great Secretariat before him 1993.
- NBA finals – the Golden state warriors vs the Cleveland cavaliers. LeBron James played the best in his career history and played his heart out - with a split skull glued together until he could get stitches. Stephen Curry, MVP prevailed and out-shined.
It may be “just a game” but it can also be big business.
Business deals are conducted at the game, on the golf course and especially sitting in a front row seat anywhere. Sports topics may technically be non-business related however, are prime time ice-breaking material rich in opportunity to adroitly break unspoken barriers, connect people, advance relationships and business!