Early in Kobe Bryant’s career, legendary coach Phil Jackson pulled him aside one day and encouraged him to spend more time with his teammates rather than in his hotel room studying game tape.
By 2009, Kobe was a leader on the court and in the locker room.
The Lakers won a championship that season.
As a social skills coach, I love that lesson - that all of us (whether we like it or not) - connected to and influenced by others.
But let’s dig a little deeper...
What made Kobe great?
All those things matter, but every other elite NBA player did those things too.
So what was Kobe’s secret weapon?
He realized that he didn’t have to do it all on his own.
He had his team and coaches there to support him.
No one is a 10/10 in ALL areas of life. - we all need help from our peers, our mentors, and our coaches.
Questions are a great way to start a conversation at a barbecue, a Zoom networking event, or a party.
Questions can even help you move past small talk and into deeper topics. (Which studies suggest could make you happier!)
If you’ve ever struggled with thinking up questions to get to know someone better, this post is for you!
After your conversational partner responds, keep the conversation going by making an observation about what they said.
Look through the list below and copy/paste 5 of your favorite questions into the notes app on your phone.
Then, you’ll be all set to break the ice at your next social event!
Bonus Pro-tip: Check out this massive list of 300+ conversation starters and topics or this huge list of 170+ icebreaker questions if you need help sparking conversations!
How to never run out of things to say...ah, this may be the holy grail of people skills...
If you've ever had your mind spontaneously go blank in the middle of a conversation, then you know this feeling...
Searching your mind for something...anything to say.
Yet, the harder you try to come up with something, the less you have to say.
Then the awkward silence creeps in...you might think to yourself:
"Why does my mind go blank all the time?!"
That overthinking vortex sucks.
I'm here to help.
Recently I've received messages from people who are struggling with their minds going blank...
I have great news for you:
In this article, you'll learn:
After reading this article, you'll be able to make conversation with the best of 'em.
Let's dive in...
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price we all have to pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi
Imagine that you group together the greatest baseball players of all time - Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie Mays, and Mike Trout.
Now imagine that they all speak different languages and have no idea what the others are saying.
As an online communication coach my clients ask me to help with situations like this all the time.
You may be the Ken Griffey Jr. of software development , but if you can’t connect with the COO (the Mike Trout of soft skills), you’re not going to climb very far up the corporate ladder.
Communication and soft skills don’t come naturally to many of my clients.
And while the reasons for that may vary, they all figured out the hard way that to advance, they’d have to study up and invest in their ability to communicate effectively with their bosses, their coworkers, and their clients.
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Using the guidance of an communication coach online can help you achieve the success you want to see in your career more quickly and effectively than trying to level up on your own.
Do you want to make more friends, build your network, and throw parties that make people say “I can’t WAIT for the next one!”?
My guest Nick Gray is here to show you how to throw a party that people will LOVE!
He’s sharing secrets straight from his book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. In this episode, you’ll learn:
Nick Gray is an investor, entrepreneur, and author. He’s also a 40-year old American man living in Austin, Texas.
Nick started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systemsand Museum Hack. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums.
He’s the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings.
I like the saying, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Not only is it catchy, but it relates to areas of life...ESPECIALLY to building social skills. (As an interpersonal communication coach, this is what I do all day every day!)
Right now starting conversations with others at a meetup or dinner party might make you want to run and hide in a corner and “check your email”.
For many of my private coaching clients, this is a common feeling.
And it boils down to a lack of social competence that leads to a lack of social confidence.
But the good news is that interpersonal skills can be learned!
And an interpersonal communication coach can help you get the results you want faster than trying to learn it on your own.
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most famous people in the world, has been very vocal about her early struggles with social interaction.
When asked about the steps she took to build her social skills (and ultimately her empire) she replied with, “Once you start to make changes, no matter how small, suddenly everything seems possible.”
In this article, you’ll learn 7 ways that an interpersonal communication coach can help build that confidence and be prepared for a more successful social life.
Let’s dive in!
5 time NCAA champion Mike Krzyzewski - possibly the most famous college basketball coach ever has a quote I love:
“Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals. Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.”
With over 1,000 career wins and over 100 future NBA players coached, Coach K knows his stuff.
He’s one of the best examples of what a great coach can help his athletes achieve.
There’s a reason that communication coaches are called “coaches.”
A coach is someone who directs training and habits to help someone become the best they can be. And you just heard it from the best - communication skills can be taught and improved!
So let’s take a look at what makes a good communications coach and how they can help you achieve your communication goals!
Do you ever get the feeling that you just aren’t connecting with people?
Maybe you’ve noticed a certain coldness from new colleagues, or you’re struggling to build rapport while on a first date.
Perhaps you’ve even seen someone cross their arms, tap their foot, or (gasp!) check their watch while you’re chatting.
Let’s look at an incredible communication hack that you might have been missing: Mirroring.
Mirroring is a fantastic way to supercharge your communication, in many cases without saying a word.
If your goal is to improve your people skills, mirroring is a crucial skill that cannot be overstated.
Studies suggest that people who mirror others are seen as more likable and persuasive.
And those people you mirror will often go out of their way to be more generous and helpful. (Don’t worry, we’ll cover the science on that in a bit.)
So mirroring is pretty freaking important!
And you may have noticed it out in the wild when...
When you get a glimpse of mirroring, it’s a good indicator that you’re in rapport with that other person.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what mirroring is, how you can mirror effectively, and what to avoid doing.
In this article, you’ll learn…
When we hear “love language quiz” or “language of love quiz” we might think about romantic relationships... and, sure, learning about them can definitely help you in your romantic relationship.
But what about all the other relationships in your life?
Real talk: Everyone communicates differently!
Some people may love receiving a thoughtful gift, while others would rather just spend quality time together.
The 5 love languages can help build better relationships at work and with friends.
The big key is to talk about what your language is, and find out what theirs is too!
The first step is answering the question, “What is my love language?,” and this quick love language test will teach you (and any friends you’d like to share it with) just that!
Take the quiz here:
It’s a situation that many of us have found ourselves in.
You just got some earth-shattering news: maybe a big deal went through at work, or you got into a heated argument with a friend.
And you just need some good old fashioned empathetic listening for a minute.
So you go to a friend and vent over a cup of coffee. But your friend isn’t really hearing you. They’re giving unwanted advice, talking about their issues, and just…not listening!
You might feel angry, or shut down.
How did we get here?
What’s the difference between listening and really hearing someone?
That secret ingredient is empathy.
And today, we’re going to make sure you don’t accidentally fall into that “not hearing” trap!
In this article, you’ll learn:
Looking for ways to meet new people?
You’re in the right place!
Maybe you’ve just moved to a new city and you’re looking to get out there and make some new friends.
Maybe you’ve lived in your city for years, but you’ve been stuck in a routine.
Either way, here’s a list of 30+ ways to meet new people.
We’ve all been there…
You’re in virtual meeting after meeting and it feels like ALL you do is hop into business.
It’s nearly impossible for someone to stay in work mode all day, and an occasional pivot to something a little more exciting than work can be very beneficial.
Icebreaker questions are great ways to connect with people, bolster team building, make new people feel welcome, and learn a bit about yourself, too!
Icebreaker questions can also…
As more companies go remote, it’s going to be easy to hop into the trap of Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting with no team building moments…
But you can prevent it with a little excitement and change!
This list of 170+ Icebreaker questions will make your next 4-hour planning meeting fun (well… somewhat, at least).
Also--these questions can also be used at an after-work happy hour, meetup, or whenever you’re meeting a group of new people!
Effective communication is one of the most powerful skills you can have as you move through the world.
Communicating effectively helps you understand other people’s motivations, and gives you the power to share your own insights without anything getting lost in the shuffle.
Effective communication can help you in your career, socially, and in your personal relationships.
For example, effective communication can help with:
With the tool of effective communication in your toolbox, you’ll have fewer misunderstandings, be better able to communicate your wants and needs, and enjoy better relationships with others!
In this article, you’ll learn:
So let’s dive in!
Ahh...would you rather questions!
When you think about it, our decisions mold who we are as much as anything else does, outside of the people who raised us.
Some decisions are easier to make than others, and level-of-importance also varies greatly, but pretty much all questions we need to answer have some aspect of “would you rather…”
“Would you rather go to college, join the military, or hit the workforce when you become an adult?” would be an example of a pretty heavy “would you rather” question, and it’s also a great conversation starter.
However, sometimes something as simple as “Would you rather sing or dance?” can teach you just as much about someone, depending on how much they actually enjoy either or both options.
(It’s also fun to see how they handle tradeoffs )
This list of 159+ would you rather questions was designed to help you lead conversations and learn more about your friends, coworkers, or even complete strangers.
The first section, “Would You Rather Questions for Friends” will be more suited for people you know, but the other two: “Funny Would You Rather Questions” and “Deep Would You Rather Questions” are questions you can use with anyone!
For more questions: Check out this list of 150+ Interesting Questions to Ask Friends.
Let’s dive in!
Our friends are some of the most important people to us.
They support us, have fun with us, and inspire us!
Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and achiever, said it best:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
But what do we do when some of those people are fake friends?
Listen, we’ve all been there.
You’ve got a group of pals, but you’ve got a feeling that things just aren’t right.
When you’re surrounded by your REAL friends, your life is more awesome and hanging out is much less draining.
But how can you tell the difference between a real friend and a fake friend?
In this article, you’ll learn…
I'll help you supercharge your people skills so that you can have a more fulfilling career,
business & social life.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve learned... (Read More)
• 5 Ways a Communication Coach Can Help You Become a Better Communicator
• The Ultimate Guide To Joining & Enjoying Group Conversations
• How to Never Run Out of Things to Say