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This golfing tip will make you a better communicator

 In Author, Delivery, Learning from Luminaries, Mindset, News, The Winning Voice

“A ‘swing thought’ is a golfer’s term for a single correction to your form that you keep in mind as you stand over the ball. The idea is to try to make several adjustments at once, is a setup for failure. A swing thought focuses on a very specific, single behaviour that stands for the overall shift you are seeking to make.”

This quote is from the book, Fear your strengths. by Robert Kaplan and Robert Kaiser. The golf swing has applications to the workplace. For example, a client of mind would often ramble in his presentations to senior executives. His swing thought before he started to speak (in golfer’s parlance, that is, when standing over the ball) was

‘Begin with a landing place in mind’.**

Kaplan and Kaiser also relay in the book an interaction with a middle manager who regularly worked on his form, both as a leader and as a golfer concluded.

“Positive swing thoughts are much better than negative ones.  A negative swing thought such as ‘Don’t try to crush the ball’ or ‘Don’t move your head’ tells you what not do and focuses your attention on not messing up. A positive swing thought focuses you on doing the right thing to improve your game.”

** (Landing place referred to my client thinking of the closing statement he would say, before he started speaking).

Own the Conversation

Implementation suggestion

Over the next seven days consider what swing thought you could keep in mind/say to yourself to improve how you present yourself and communicate your ideas.

Maybe your swing thought could focus on:

  • Being more measured for the first 15 seconds of each speaking episode, so you ‘own time’ versus rushing.
  • Radiating warmth and acceptance and calm enthusiasm through your facial expression upon entry to a virtual or face to face meeting – so you attract people toward you.
  • Structuring your message in an Open, Middle, Close format.

Experiment with the swing thought in safe situations and then reflect on the experiments.

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