Portrait of a happy African American golfer playing golf

Depending on where you live in Canada, there’s still at least a few weeks of golf left in the season. And, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, there’s a good chance you’ll hit the links with clients, employees or suppliers at some point. Have you put any thought into how your actions on the green affect your business?

A golfer’s behaviour creates a more lasting impression than their score. Your actions and demeanor during a round of golf can be a revealing window into your emotional intelligence. Depending on who you’re playing with, this can have a negative effect on your professional relationships. Are you able to keep your emotions in check? Can you keep cool after an errant shot or bad hole? Are you aware of others in your foursome and how they are faring during their round?

Your answers to these questions are a good indication of what you’ll be like to deal with in business. And the behaviours of the people you’re playing with reveal the same.

I’ve noted there are five different personality types among golfers. Here is a bit more about each of them, including the implications their behaviours have on their real-world business activities.

1. The Perfectionist

Perfectionists focus only on their game. They have little interest in others’ play, and are even oblivious to great shots if they aren’t their own. They can be testy or even temperamental, tending to blame the greens, traps, water and general course conditions for errors.

This type of person shares many character traits commonly associated with a certain type of entrepreneurs they generally like to face the world alone, thinking that no one will be able to meet their standards or accomplish anything as well as they can. They have the type of personality most people like to steer clear of, because they don’t want to have to deal with the constant negativity.

Read: The 7 Deadly Sins of Control-Freak CEOs

2. The Social Convenor

Social Convenors are always more focused on building camaraderie than actually playing the game. Regardless of their ability, they like to take on a coaching role, and are always watching for the beer cart to ensure everyone remains happy, hydrated and fed.

While at first this personality type seems like a great person to be around, its rare that their golf games produce a meaningful outcome. (Don’t even try to negotiate that business deal out on the course!) They may always be the life of the party, but you will find yourself constantly straining to listen for the value in what they are saying rather than having a meaningful dialogue. And if you get the opportunity to give them your card, it may end up in their golf bag for years to come.

3. The Networker

Networkers need bios from their fellow players before the first ball is struck. They immediately want to know who does what for a living and whether there are any business prospects at play. They drop more names than penalty balls during a bad round, regardless of whether anyone is impressed by it. The course is their office and they are there to do business.

They are generally people-pleasers, which at first seems great, but it can become overwhelming if someone is constantly seeking approval rather than driving for results. Of course, once they recognize they’re not getting anywhere, or if they feel there is a better opportunity elsewhere, there is a strong possibility they will drop you, and you will just become another name in their bag of tricks.

Read: Are You a Toxic Leader?

4. The Talker

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Incessant chatter may be accompanied by persistent jokes and laughter. Depending on the group, joke-telling may increase other players’ suffering.

Non-stop talking can be a function of nerves. If you find yourself playing with someone with this personality type, do what you can to make sure they are comfortable. Once they feel at home, they will relax and the chatter will lessen.

5. The happy golfer

Enjoying the game, foursome and the course, happy golfers take the good with the bad. They acknowledge other golfers’ good shots and add to the round without dominating it.

This is the happy medium of all of the personality types. In business, as in any type of relationship, this person will add value.

Read: The 5 Essential Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

It’s important to be yourself and enjoy your round, but keep in mind which of these five personality types best describes you—and your fellow players—before, during and after your game. And if you notice that you have trouble finding a golf partner or the relationships you try to build on the course end up out of bounds, perhaps it’s time to have a look at your own emotional intelligence. Keeping yourself in check can mean the difference between a successful business deal and a failed one.

Evan Thompson is founder and owner of Evan Thompson & Associates. With 30 years of experience as a leader in the communications industry, Evan offers a customized approach to business development through training in personal branding, relationship development and overall workplace culture modification. He has successfully provided coaching to professionals at all levels of business.

Read: What Rewards do Employees Actually Value?

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