They say a lot of business gets done on the golf course. Closing deals, strategic planning, team building, sussing out suppliers and competitors, getting to know people. Forbes have published a list of 19 tips for closing a deal on the golf course which states that you ‘really get to know the other golfers in a way that LinkedIn and email will never provide.’
Golf famously reveals people’s characters. So does minigolf, of course – we’ll get to that. First, here are a few pearls of wisdom from golfers on the subject of business and character:
Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it.
– Ernie Banks
If there is any larceny in a man, golf will bring it out.
– Paul Gallico
If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf.
– Percey Boomer
A well-adjusted man is one who can play golf as if it were a game.
It’s OK to have butterflies. Just get them flying in formation.
– Francisco Lopez
I never learned anything from a match that I won.
– Bobby Jones
The proper score for a businessman golfer is 90. If he is better than that he is neglecting his business. If he’s worse, he’s neglecting his golf.
– St Andrews Rotary Club Member
Minigolf is a microcosm of golf. A person’s reaction to a bad shot and the level of arrogance or modesty shown after a successful shot can tell you just as much about a person on the minigolf course as out on the fairway. That makes minigolf an excellent socialising tool for recruitment days, team building days, corporate away days and business events. One U.S. entrepreneur has the following reason for using minigolf as part of his recruitment process:
“Within half an hour of entering the room, interviewees are more relaxed,” he says. “What they don’t realise is that over a game of mini-golf, they’re giving off who they are as people – we get to know them better than if they were in a stale white room with a desk.”
So why not ditch the flip charts and blindfolded trust-fall exercises and hire a minigolf course for your next recruitment day? It’s fluid, it keeps people moving and talking, and it gives you insights into their personalities. And it’s an awful lot cheaper than hiring a firm of team-building consultants!
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