What’s going on in the 19th Hole? What is the 19th Hole, anyway?
I have two words for you: Relationship Building.
As a mid-career, business-development executive, relationship building has been critical to my success. It’s at, or near, the top of the list of factors contributing to my career trajectory. Many of the corporate partnership deals I’ve closed or extended were fostered by quality time spent on the golf course with prospective partners and existing ones.
There's something about being on the golf course together … that shared experience. You get to know someone on a different, deeper and more personal level. Emotions come out. You see another side of a person that wouldn't likely emerge in a meeting room. The conversation turns, as it should on the course, to many topics other than business.
Let the interaction unfold. Get to know your playing partners as individuals. Soak it in. Maintain your professionalism at all times, but relish this opportunity on-course to get to know the person behind the mutual business interests you are pursuing. It will serve to propel your relationship forward and good business is more likely to result.
Oh, and that "19th Hole" is the fondly named gathering place where cocktails and conversation await at the end of every round of golf. Take advantage of this time to continue the on-course conversation and move toward the next steps for expanding your business interests.
Director of Women and New Market Initiatives
PGA of America