Essential for Good Golf AND Good Business
Professional golfers wouldn’t dare to walk up to their ball and strike it without taking time to complete a pre-shot routine. After all, to strike the ball well requires the golf-swing to be fluid and in sync. You need a clear intention of what you are about to do. With your intentions set, and the positive outcome of the shot already experienced in your mind’s eye, a smooth and synchronized swing is possible.
And yet, business professionals run from meeting to meeting, phone call to phone call often without a ‘pre-shot routine’ or a ‘swing thought’ that transitions them to the mindset of the next meeting or call.
Thinking is an undervalued activity in business
Exertion is visible and activity can be measured easily. We need, however, to be careful of unconsciously exchanging exertion for thoughtfulness. Reactively jumping into the next thing and then the next thing, and the next, is an easy trap to fall into. The difference between the golf course and the office environment is the results of ignoring pre-shot preparation is instant. In business, it sometimes takes a little longer to catch up with us.
There is a recuperative and constructive benefit of taking time – whatever it takes, from a few seconds or maybe a full 60 seconds- to think about what we want that next call or meeting to accomplish; what am I about to do and what is the successful outcome I envision.
On the golf course as the players walk to the ball, the thinking has already begun. Once at their ball they decide target, type of shot, and consider the situation (which includes type of lie, wind, risk and reward of the shot) the intention is set – what does a good shot look like – club, trajectory, and other aspects of shaping a shot.
When you hang up the phone and jump to the next call, or to the email that just popped in or to the text message that flashed during your call – have you shaped the shot, fully considered the situation, know what the outcome looks like?
If the answer is no, consider changing that pattern and build that pre-call, pre-meeting routine into your game for better results.
Giving yourself a few seconds or minutes to think between calls, not scheduling meeting back to back to back without a break will put your game in a winning position.