In the first of a series of articles, Karl Morris, the leading golf performance coach explains how teaching pros can use the ‘mind factor’ to help students, but can also use it to improve their retailing skills
I have a memory of sitting in an audience at London’s Excel Centre about fifteen years ago listening to the great American motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. For many, the highlight of the event was going to be the fabled ‘fire walk’ whereby you had to walk barefoot over burning coals as a way of smashing some of your limiting beliefs. Looking back on the experience, for me, the fire walk was a distant second to something Robbins said which, at the time, I had no idea of the gravity and importance of the words he shared with us.
He said, “The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your questions”. I remember thinking at the time as I wrote my notes on the statement, it sounded catchy enough but in no way did I understand how powerful the understanding of the statement could be when you actually put it into real world practical experience.
What can you hear around you at the moment?…
Sorry about that because I am sure you momentarily left our conversation here in this article and you travelled to your current environment!
Welcome back again but can you see what happened? The question focused your attention.
That precious commodity known as ‘attention’. The key to so many (if not all) areas of your life.
The reason I called my latest book ‘Attention – The SECRET to YOU playing GREAT golf’ is the fact our attention will either be in a useful or useless place for the task we have at hand, be that hitting a golf ball or selling a golf ball.
When we are asked or we ask ourselves a question, we can’t help but answer.
It would seem the brain is a ‘question answering machine’. If questions focus our attention and attention is critical to success, then it would lead back to Tony Robbins and his statement ‘the quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your questions’.
Yet, in the main, most human beings ask dreadful questions, placing our attention in useless places. Most importantly, they do not have a structure in place of what I call vital questions. Questions you can rely on in almost any situation to put you in a much more productive state of mind.
In the golf business, both on and off the golf course, we ask some seriously bad questions.
- “Why is play so slow today?”
- “Why do I always get drawn with him?”
- “What have they done to these greens?”
- “Where is the trouble here?”
I still go into many pro shops and the initial contact is either one of being completely ignored or, the all time number one classic retail bad question, ‘Are you all right there?’!
Just for today, make a point of listening actively to people and their habitual questions, and you will have a smile on your face by the end of the day when you begin to notice how horribly consistent yet unproductive they are.
- “What’s wrong with you?”
- “How come I feel so depressed?”
- “When will this end?”
- “How can I prove I am right?”
- “Why bother with this?”
- “Why have I failed?”
I could go on and on and I am sure you recognise the pattern. A life being experienced through the lens of poor questions. Filtering out all of the positive possibilities and homing in like a drone onto spiraling negativity. I would go as far as to say that an ideal formula for being miserable and unhappy is to perfect the art of poor questions.
As a contrast to this, I have found perhaps the single most efficient mental technique to feel better and more productive, is to simply change your habitual questions. It is not about thinking positive or trying to be happy but simply using questions to direct your attention into much more productive, beneficial and useful areas of your existence. The negative power of poor questions is incredibly pervasive. We could be sat together now in the finest restaurant in London and, if I looked at you quizzically, shrugged my shoulders and said, “I cant put my finger on it but what’s wrong with this place?” . I absolutely guarantee the question would send your brain in search of something you could complain about. Your attention would be set to look for something wrong and boy, most of the time we are incredibly skillful at finding those things.
The first step on the road to redemption and breakthrough is to simply become more aware initially of your own habitual questions and then make a commitment to spend a week working on better questions.
Just as a single experiment, play a round of golf and ask yourself this simple question on each and every shot you play.
- “What does a good shot look like here?”
What does that question force you to do?
In this unique moment in time on this particular shot, you are going to focus your attention on what a good shot looks like for you right here and now. Does this mean that question will produce a good shot? No.
Does it mean you are improving your chances and focusing on this moment on this particular shot? Yes.
If in the Pro Shop you ask somebody a question such as, ‘Are you enjoying your golf at the moment?’ what does it get them to put their attention on? Their game!!
With their attention on their game, they then become open to suggestions about how to improve their game.
- How could you improve your golf or your business by using better questions?
Karl Morris is the author of the recently published Amazon best seller ‘Attention!! The SECRET to YOU playing GREAT golf’.
Has your golf club had a MIND FACTOR evening? A two hour workshop for your members giving them practical tools to get the best from their game and the most out of their lessons.
Contact Karl Morris at www.themindfactor.com