Mulligans: They’re Not Just for Golfers???

Since it’s Ryder Cup season…

In the game of golf, there is a phenomenon called a “mulligan.” If you play golf, you’ve probably given mulligans to yourself, or other players. Mulligans are gifts. Usually, they’re given after a mistake, such as a poor shot. It’s a chance to start over without penalty. The gift is, “Go ahead and try again. We won’t count that stroke against your score.”

The mulligan is a second chance; a form of forgiveness; a way to let someone start anew, without penalty.

Mulligans also can be gifts upfront, before you’ve even taken a swing. Some groups decide to give a mulligan on the first hole. That way, you know that if you don’t get off to a good start, you can have a second chance.

I find this to be a useful concept in with my clients as well as in my personal relationships. Here’s how this can work for you:

First, explain the mulligan concept to your managers, associates, partners, even your significant other, child peers, co-workers or team.

Next, use mulligans in your conversations. If you say something unintentionally hurtful, ask for a mulligan, and then try again in a more pleasant, less blaming (and more effective) manner. Mulligans can lighten things up, can remind both of you of your fundamental culture of caring, and can allow you to start anew.

Yeah, maybe this sounds a bit “touchy-feely” or “soft” to you (at least right now). You know, the soft skills are the hardest to learn. However, they cost you nothing and pay huge payoffs in productivity which leads to a workplace with increased accountability which lead to less stress, more time and a better bottom line for you and your law firm, accounting firm, banking organization, financial services firm or insurance office.

What’s not to like?

Try it; you just may like it, too. Let me know how you make out. FORE!

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