By Joyce Gannon
So you didn’t fill out a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament, you don’t know where the hometown baseball team held spring training and, truth to tell, you tuned into the Super Bowl only to catch Katy Perry’s performance during the halftime show.
Despite your lack of sports fanaticism, you don’t need to avoid all the sports-related chatter in your workplace. Even those with limited knowledge of sports can use it to build better business relationships and connections, said a Seattle-based consultant who helps sports fans and non-fans better incorporate sports into their business communication and networking.
“You don’t have to be the most passionate sports fan in the world … to leverage sports in business,” said Jen Mueller, who has written two books about using sports as a career tool and whose company, Talk Sporty to Me, conducts presentations to teach men and women “how to communicate better with people around you using sports conversations.”
Mueller, 36, knew sports long before she began advising people about how sports talk could benefit their business relationships.
A broadcast journalism graduate of Southern Methodist University, Mueller works full-time at Root Sports in Seattle as a producer and on-air talent for Mariners’ baseball games. During football season, she is a radio sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks.
Her first book, “Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day for Business” was published in 2013. Her second, “Talk Sporty to Me: Thinking Outside the Box Scores,” was published in January.
A high school athlete who also worked as a high school football official, Mueller said she became “an accidental entrepreneur” when a contact at accounting firm KPMG’s Seattle office asked her to speak to a group of female employees who wanted to break down gender barriers that existed in professional networking activities.