Why Playing Golf For Women Is Such An Effective Rapport And Relationship Builder
FREEDOM: Golf For Women - Rapport and Relationship Builder
Regardless of Donald Trump's personal life, I admire how he was able to survive his financial crisis in 1990 when the real estate market plummeted. To survive it, he wasn't locked in the conference room negotiating and renegotiating complicated contracts and loans. Instead he was out playing business golf.
In his book, The Art of the Comeback (Times Book, New York, 1997), Trump lists playing golf as number one on his Top Ten Comeback Tips. He speaks highly about the benefits of golf, "I've found you get to know a person much better on the golf course than you can over lunch or dinner. You develop camaraderie. I made lots of money on the golf course--making contacts and deals." Playing golf for business was very profitable for him.
Here's why playing golf for women is such an effective rapport and relationship builder.
The golf swing takes on average about 1.4 seconds. If your score is 100, you've swung the club for 140 seconds, or slightly more than 2 minutes. If you are playing with three others, then only about 10 minutes are spent actually hitting the ball. What are you doing the rest of the 4-hour round? Besides having fun and experiencing the many other benefits of playing, you are bonding and learning about one another's backgrounds, families, and career histories.
If I were in school now, I'd learn golf; not learning was my biggest mistake. Maybe I still will. Why? It's a game with quiet time where people can talk about things. It's not like tennis, which I play and isn't helpful. Guys do a fair amount of work on the golf course. Women need to be where decisions are being made, and like it or not, some are made on the golf course. It's not unusual to ask someone, "Have you talked to so-and-so recently?" and he says, "I played golf with him Saturday." So I say, learn it and don't make it a negative. Make it part of the portfolio.
-- Ellen Hancock, former CEO, Exodus Communications
It can be difficult to get in depth about such topics over lunch. You're interrupted by the wait staff or the restaurant is too noisy. But by sharing such information while on the golf course, you're building rapport with each other to create long-term, win-win relationships--business and social.
An added reason why golf for women can help build relationships is that--while you play with others--you're really competing only against yourself. You are trying to shoot your best personal score or hit shots as well as you can. You're not competing against your playing partners, unless you have agreed to a bet. Even with a bet, you don't try to make your client or prospect miss his or her shot.
Playing golf with others is very different from playing tennis, where you try to place the ball so your opponent can't return it. That creates a win-lose feeling. Instead, in golf, you'll always hear players (even opponents) praise one another's shots during a round. "Good shot!" and "Nice putt!" are heard often on the golf course. When playing to build business relationships, it is those shared positive feelings that are remembered and appreciated long after the round. And, if one of you should hit a hole in one, you will always have that special connection with each other!
The relationship building aspect of golf for women isn't limited to just business colleagues and clients.
If you want to spend more time with your family, then consider making golf a family affair. Your spouse may benefit from playing golf in his career. It's a lifetime sport that both of you can enjoy for work, but also when you're traveling together. Your children can learn focus, patience, and how to handle challenges, as well as play a game that may help them professionally in the future. A single mother who plays golf for business purposes plays with her teenage son. She said, "It gives us a chance to spend time together doing something we both enjoy. And it's nice that we can compliment one another for our good shots."
You don't have to play eighteen holes to enjoy this benefit. If you are beginning to learn how to play, then consider playing nine holes only for business. It takes a couple of hours to play and you can still build rapport with your playing partners.