Do we have time to talk?

    If you take the time to ask well thought out questions and really take an interest in those who enter your shop or approach you for lessons then you will see an immediate benefit, says mind coach Karl Morris.

    Hi, how are you doing?”
    “Weather looks a bit miserable!”
    “Yes, they said it was going to rain again this afternoon.”
    “Enjoy your game!”

    Karl MorrisHow many ‘conversations’ have you had like this in the past week? That’s assuming that we even actually class this interaction as a conversation – is it, in actual fact, just an auto pilot response to fill a potentially embarrassing social gap?

    Of course, in anyone’s busy day we don’t have time to stop and talk for hours with everyone we meet but, that said, how many really enthralling conversations have you had this past week, or even this past year? Have you been so totally engrossed in someone else and their story you lost track of time? Of all of our human activities a really great and absorbing conversation with someone can be one of the most rewarding. In both business and coaching it can also be one of the most rewarding and essential skills you possess.

    Quality conversation does take time and effort, but can be incredibly worthwhile. There is an argument to be made that we are all in danger of losing our conversational skills as we are constantly bombarded with the most mind-numbing of trivia on various social media channels, yet we often choose to give this ‘communication’ priority over actually having a genuine live conversation with another person.

    A piece in the newspaper about current world number one Jason Day having a very open, frank and honest conversation with his support team prior to the Masters in 2011 made fascinating reading. Day had become so disillusioned with the game he was thinking of quitting, so he got together with his team to talk.

    Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 15.25.23The man who is now one of the best golfers in the world has since said, “that day when I was sitting here in the bus, I had my agent, my wife and a sports psychologist. I just do not like the game right now. I am just having a very hard time picking up the golf club to even just enjoy myself out there. So we came to the conclusion as a group that this may well be the last Masters I ever play so I might as well enjoy it. I decided to enjoy it regardless of the result. I went out there and finished second.”

    That open and honest conversation with the people closest to Jason Day freed him up to go out and play a career-defining tournament. Without the conversation would he have become a major winning world number one? Maybe he would, but there is a distinct possibility that he wouldn’t have gone down the same road.

    I remember hearing in a seminar many years ago the statement, ‘The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your questions’ and I couldn’t agree more. The glue holding a wonderful conversation together is the quality of the questions preceding it. Questions like, ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘Can I help you?’ do not open the door to many minds. It still never ceases to amaze me when I walk into stores in the high street and golf pro shops how many times I still get asked, ‘Can I help you there?’ Er…no! If you ask auto pilot and mindless questions then you will get auto pilot mindless replies that tend to lead nowhere.

    The success of your business and your coaching will in large part be dependent on the quality of your conversations. Everyone has a story if we can be bothered to ask about it. A powerful driver for most humans is the desire to be understood; when somebody takes the time to really understand what we are all about a strong bond is created.

    Don’t be afraid to have some fun with this, give yourself permission to push the envelope and ask some different kinds of questions with your golf lessons or the people coming into your shop. When I’ve been working with sales teams in the past, I’ve found that one great game to play is the ’ten people, ten questions game’. This is a bit of fun, but it is surprising how it can open up the doors to some really interesting questions and, more importantly, to more sales and lessons. The game is simple: you have to ask the next ten people that come into the shop a completely different question. It may sound easy, but don’t be fooled – you will find out just how much you have been on auto pilot with virtually everyone who walks through the door.

    Fresh questions will elicit some fresh responses. Those fresh responses could potentially provide a pleasant boost to your business. Not every question will produce dramatic results but, just as one shot on a golf course can be the difference between winning and losing, so can one question be the difference between another run of the mill day or a great day’s business.

    Why not host at YOUR club ‘The best is YET to come’ a workshop with Karl Morris designed specifically for SENIOR golfers. To find out more ring 01925 764053 or go to for details

    Previous articleHow to make retail discounting work for you
    Next articleWhy do we play golf?
    Miles is the Owner and Managing Director of Robel Media, and the award winning GOLF RETAILING Magazine. With over 25 years in the media business, Miles has a wealth of experience in magazine publishing, digital media and live events. HANDICAP - 7.2