Televised golf matches over the last couple of weeks have been really interesting. This is an exciting time – with the race to Dubai the goal for a great many of these golfers.
Last week in China we had Tiger Woods, the world’s number one player, in contention.That he is the number one player is not in doubt – yet people are rarely satisfied with this. There were so many comments in the press about his lack of PR skills. One headline declared that Tiger should stick to his day job and leave the PR to others.
The reason that Tiger is the number one player is because he plays to his strengths – and to do that, he needs to embrace his powers of concentration and inward focus. This is characteristic of his personality type. He is a task driven introvert who needs to go deep inside self to find this focus. This also helps him screen out any external distractions that could make him miss shots. He cannot be doing this and seeing to external factors at the same time.
WOODS v MICKELSON
Comparisons on their PR skills were made between Woods and his long time rival Phil Mickelson. This is actually very unfair, as the reason Tiger holds the number one spot is because he does stick to his day job and has not made any claims to do anything other than this. Mickelson too was sticking to his day job, yet because he is a very different personality type he tackles this in a different way. He takes his energy from the support of the crowds. He enjoys interaction with them and this does not distract from his game, it actually adds to it. He shares his introversion with Woods. Mickelson is more introverted than extraverted, although not extreme in either. The difference between these two in terms of personality is that Mickelson’s preference is for Feeling versus Tiger’s preference for Thinking.
Feeling leads to a greater affinity with people and indeed, a need for people and positive relationships. Tiger on the other hand, with his preference for Thinking, approaches his job in an objective, analytical and logical fashion.
Two different preferences sharing the same attitude.
It comes as second nature to Mickelson to smile and interact with the crowd. He is a relationship specialist, always pleasant and often described as laid back. He is relaxed yet there are no world class golfers who can truly be described as laid back. The amount of effort and practise that these players need to put in ensures that none of them can be laid back in how they tackle the game. Each and every one of them go out to win, whatever their personality type.
In this particular match Mickelson won, which was a victory for Feeling over Thinking, or just that he played and scored better in his matches. It is a fallacy, yet fairly common thinking, that Thinking/Task driven people are natural winners and Feeling/People types are too laid back and not really concerned with winning. The reality is that they just go about it differently.
CURRENT CHAMPION GOLFERS
Mickelson is not alone in having an Introverted attitude and preference for Feeling/People among the current crop of leading golfers. Rory McIlroy the young superstar who is now leading the race to Dubai shares this personality type, as does Lee Westwood (number 2), Ernie Ells, runner up in last week’s match with Mickelson. Ross Fisher, Darren Clark and Luke Donald all share the same preferences.
All of these players would be described by the population at large as, laid back, they are not. They are relaxed, just as driven for results as their more task oriented colleagues, however they do not bulldoze forwards, they concentrate and stay within their calm zone, carefully doing what they know needs to be done, to get the results sought. They never seem to be in the same hurry as those more Thinking/Task driven colleagues, yet as can be seen from their successes over the years, they too get the reults that the whole field embracing all sorts of personalities are seeking.