Golf Course Management

JUL 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 I was recently attending a continuing edu- cation class and began discussing interviewing experiences with human resources colleagues in the golf industry. The conversation quickly morphed into a list of what not to do in an in - terview. Their answers may surprise you, and yet research validates their responses. Several of the top reasons for not select - ing particular candidates can be summarized as poor nonverbal communication skills. Seriously? This seems too basic to be true. However, regularly we see applicants con - vey well-prepared verbal answers and ideas during an interview, while transmitting a contrasting message with their nonverbal cues. In this month's column, I will unpack the role that body language has in interview - ing to help you sidestep potential interview- ing pitfalls as you advance your career in the golf and turf industry. Be aware of your posture, both standing and sitting. I recently served on a hiring com - mittee at a golf club. One of the candidates repeatedly expressed his desire to work at the club during the interview and presented com - pelling reasons to hire him. But his message was thwarted by his poor posture (leaning back in his chair, crossing his legs), which conveyed disinterest, regardless of his verbal message. Sit in an active, upright, interested posture. You want to learn more about their facility and are honored to be there. Also, avoid fddling with belongings and sudden movements, calmly arrange your folder or device on the table for notes, and confdently offer a handshake. Be aware of your facial expressions. This may take practice, especially when you are ner - vous in an interview setting, but it is crucial. UCLA professor and researcher Albert Meh - rabian found that people tend to believe the facial expressions they see, not the words that are spoken. He also concluded that 55 percent of communication pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression. This is power - ful! Remember that all candidates interviewed are qualifed; the interview is heavily weighted on feelings and attitudes — sometimes termed "gut instinct" — in deciding which candidate to hire. Be intentional about keeping your fa- cial expressions aligned with your verbal con- tent to ensure your message will be received as expected. Be aware of eye contact. Yes, we all know this, right? But it isn't that simple. What about an interview with a committee of several peo - ple? How much eye contact is appropriate? Most communication experts use the 50/70 rule as a general guideline: engage eye contact 50 percent of the time when you are speak - ing and 70 percent when you are listening. Increased eye contact conveys credibility and confdence. A candidate who displays less eye contact can be perceived as intimidated, less confdent and not having conviction in what they are saying. Establish eye contact before you begin your answers and end your answers with confdent engagement. This allows you some latitude during your responses to natu - rally look at notes and comfortably focus on the content of your message. In a committee setting, give most of your attention to the per - son who asked each question along with inter- mittent eye contact with the other committee members. As you fnish your answers, return your concentration to the person who asked the question, which gives them the nonverbal cue that you are willing to answer any fol - low-up inquiry or provide clarifcation. The longer I study interviewing and career advancement, the more I realize the power of simple communication principles. Yes, you must be strategic and carefully consider the content of your interview answers, but don't underestimate the impact of how your message is delivered through body language. Carol D. Rau, PHR is a career consultant with GCSAA and is the owner of Career Advantage, a career consulting frm in Lawrence, Kan., specializing in golf and turf industry careers. GCSAA members receive complimentary résumé critiques by Rau and her team, résumé and cover letter creation for a reduced member rate, along with interview preparation and portfolio consultation. Don't let body language hijack your message Several of the top reasons for not selecting particular candidates can be summarized as poor nonverbal communication skills. (Career) Carol D. Rau, PHR 040-043_July14_Career.indd 40 6/17/14 2:28 PM

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