Out in the business networking world it is very common to meet someone for the very first time. Matter of fact, it is part of business networking. The face-to-face meeting can be a challenge for many since understanding how to comfortably communicate with the person is the first issue to figure out.
Awkwardness is the first feeling to overcome. What makes it uncomfortable is not knowing what the person is like or their true personality.
How would you deal with this in the business golf arena?
Many times the meeting at the golf course is the first encounter you have with someone you do not know. What makes the ordeal different is the length of time of the encounter. In the casual meeting at the coffee shop the visit lasts about an hour at the most. During a round of business golf the visit is much longer.
What is at issue in both situation is knowing how to communicate effectively with a person. How can you tell what type of person your guest is going to be?
It could take years of experience before someone gets comfortable dealing with the ‘first time’ you meet someone. Knowing how to determine what the person is like from just looking is very hard.
In most cases the True character of a person can be hidden since they are trying to impress upon everyone they are someone they really are not. In the business networking environment this ‘cover’ can go on for sometime, even over more than a few visits.
However in Business Golf, the true character of a person shows through if they are attempting to use a cover of their true personality. this particular aspect of golf is the reason so many business people refuse to consider play golf. They do not want their deception discovered.
TIP: Here are a few ways of finding out during a round of Business Golf more about your guest’s true personality .
What’s in the Bag?
Just a quick look in their golf bag can tell you a lot about the person. If they have a 12 inch staff bag with no two clubs matching brand or fit, you can bet this person is probably someone who is not that into golf but wants people to think he/she is. Most of the traits shown with how people take care of their golf equipment is reflective of how they would be in their business environment These golfers usually are not into details. Usually they are big talkers and on the hunt to make a sale.
If the person has a nice neat compartment style bag with each club matching brand and model with the plastic covers on each iron you can take a good guess that this person is very organized in their business life. These people are interested in talking facts and figures.
If your guest has a small stand bag with top of the line golf clubs you can take a guess that they maybe athletic and a skilled golfer. Usually these business golfers are leaders, pleasant to be with and can be very good conversationalist.
It’s in the Talk!
Most of the time you can tell from the greeting what type of person your guest is going to be. However this is sometimes to impress you so don’t assume that if the person is down beat in their greeting they are a untrustworthy person. Remember, they are checking you out as well so, they maybe feeling out how to communicate with you. Let the conversation roll on for awhile before determining what their true character is like.
Its All About Me!
When the cigars are taken out during a round of business golf…well, what is that tell you? My studies show during a formal round of business golf the use of cigars by your guests is a sign that the day is ‘All About Them” (I have had an occasion where my lady guest smoked cigars, but that will be a blog for a totally different subject and issue).
The use of cigars and cellphones have become a neon signs of warning in Business Golf. Generally these signs would not show up in a Coffee Shop meeting other than being an annoyance. These business people are usually out of control of their lives and have built in habits of portraying importance in hope people will want to do business with them out of feeling they must be successful if they have such a packed day of issues they have to deal with on the phone.
The ‘All About Me’ trait is easily covered in the regular business networking environment, but comes out quickly during the round of business golf. Getting these people’s full attention is very difficult to do. Playing along with them and joining them with having a cigar or cellphone conversations does nothing but validate to them that the event is “all About them”.
Interesting enough, knowing that the person has this attitude is good to get out before moving forward to doing business with the. If you are forced to deal with them since they hold the key to your products or service expansion, then you need to change to a more professional stance and face them off. Request that they not smoke the cigars and ask if they could hold the calls until the turn or afterwards. You showing leadership has an 88% success rate. Yes, there is a chance the guest may get upset with your request, but What did that just show you about them. And, would you want to deal with someone who is that inconsiderate?
Roll with the Flow
Doing business means you have to deal with all of the different personalities. This is very hard, but has to be done. Knowing the person’s personality will allow you to communicate with that person better. Knowing the person’s true characteristics will tell you if there are going to be problems after the business starts.
Business Golf is the only way to find out the hidden traits a person has, but still the communication efforts are the same.
Let golf lead you to learning more about people and in developing more sound business deals.
Let me know how I can help.