Hit Your Second Shot First
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
A little visualization here. Approaching your golf ball, after a beautiful straight 250 yard drive off of the tee, you're only 150 yards out. Perfect! It's a 7-iron away and that's my favorite club. Few pre-swing waggles and you go to hit and THUMP! There's a small island of turf launched forward and the golf ball took a 90-degree turn into the trees. Grrr, a few ceremonial cuss words and the ceremonial checklist starts, "keep your head down", "hit down on the irons", "just relax", yada yada. Second shot flies nicely and after the ball lands, your buddy says, "Why couldn't you have done that first?"
For years I've always said, if I could hit my second shot first in golf, all will be well.
In business, we don't get practice swings, and if we do they are extremely limited or we wouldn't be playing the game very long. I've summed up my ways to hit your second shot first in business relationships:
1. Be Genuine- We all know that first impressions are important but the second and third dictates the value of the relationship. Be genuine in your approach and listen closely to what is said. Minimize your professional agenda when talking with people and practice good interpersonal relationship skills such as clarifying questions, asking for understanding and empathetic responses to what is being said.
2. Be Honest- Have you ever witnessed someone lying and then they tell a lie to cover up the previous? Imagine the serenity of not lying or "fudging" information. Be honest, even if the truth isn't to your advantage at the moment because the positive of the situation or situations will come back in a beneficial manner. I be
lieve there isn't a stronger undocumented bond than knowing when someone is being honest with you because it creates an environment of trust and genuine creativity. Both that are important to businesses thriving. Also, if you don't fully understand, even after some clarifying questions, be honest and communicate that so perceptions can be as aligned as possible if the relationship continues to progress.
3. Do Research- Know your audience and at least what their vision or strategy is. In the event that those resources aren't readily available, at least research the industry to have an understanding of operations, regulations facing the
industry and any trends that have been highlighted. With just a little information and good insight, can mitigate a large learning curve and arm yourself with enough information right away to formulate good questions so you can arrive to decisions. Cultural research is part of this as well. If you're doing or plan to do business with a Native American organization or any other organization rooted in culture, do your research on that culture and acceptable interactions or expectations; very important element.
4. Follow Through- Service after any sale or handshake means something when you do what you say you were going to do. If you said you would look into something, do it and report back quickly. If you're going to be at a meeting, be there and be on time. Remember trust and honesty are crucial to any relationship and in business it amounts to possible professional life altering events. Say what you're going
to do and do it.
5. Have Fun- All work and no play gets old pretty quick. Enjoy building the business or new relationship. Go golfing with the decision makers or if you're in an existing business, go golfing or do an activity with the employee of the month. Instill something fun at the appropriate times and watch morale, creativity, pride and motivation grow. Hopefully, with minimal practice, every shot is meaningful and close to the mark for you and the business relationships you depend on.