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“Kansas City Chiefs tight end—and Taylor Swift’s boyfriend—Travis Kelce offers invaluable advice for navigating new situations, applicable not only to NFL rookies but to everyone.”

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"Kansas City Chiefs tight end—and Taylor Swift's boyfriend—Travis Kelce offers invaluable advice for navigating new situations, applicable not only to NFL rookies but to everyone."

 

What’s one of the first things you should do when you find yourself in a new situation–working with a new client, pitching your product or service to a new industry, or even in a new job? Learn the lingo.

 

"Kansas City Chiefs tight end—and Taylor Swift's boyfriend—Travis Kelce offers invaluable advice for navigating new situations, applicable not only to NFL rookies but to everyone."

That very sound advice comes from Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who helped his team win the Super Bowl three times, but is perhaps best known for his romantic relationship with Taylor Swift. In the latest episode of New Heights, the podcast he co-hosts with his older brother, former Philadelphia Eagle Jason Kelce, the two discussed the importance–or perhaps unimportance–of learning their teams’ playbooks. Jason pointed out that for those who’ve played football in college and/or high school, most NFL plays will be at least somewhat familiar. Besides, he said, players are taught the relevant plays at multiple points throughout the season and before every game, giving them plenty of opportunities to learn their parts.

But, Travis noted, perhaps the most important aspect of a playbook is the terminology in it, which can be specific to each team. “In terms of the transition from college to the pros, the biggest thing is that communication with the whole new team and whole new coaching staff,” he said. “Because you want to be able to have those educated conversations with your coaches. Saying, ‘Oh that was a WAM Blitz’–that gives them confidence that you’re seeing the field and you know your job and you know what we’re trying to get done as a team, as a unit.”

“You want to be able to have those educated conversations.” Kelce is right. In so many situations, it’s not just important to know how to do the work, or to know your area–it also matters that you know how to use insider terms that prove you know the profession, industry, or organization as well. That might seem shallow, but the fact is that throughout history, people have often used insider words that only some understand as informal code–or even formal code–to identify those they could trust and those who shared the same specialized knowledge. Using the specific words that are relevant to your new client, partner, or team member sends a signal that you know what you are doing and that they can trust you.

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