Thousands of putts are given to players across the world each day. Giving putts on the course is one of the purest forms of trust among golfers. We all know the feeling of not having to drain that three-foot putt for par because our opponent trusts that we will make it. Our opponent has seen us make that putt hundreds of times before and says the two magical words… “that’s good”. Imagine how your team members at the office might feel if you started relieving some of the pressure by giving them three-footers from time-to-time.

 Giving putts in the workplace is all about recognizing when your team members are giving it their best shot. You know they can hit the mark (they’ve done it before), and there’s an opportunity to acknowledge their effort and abilities by telling them, “that’s good”. Here are some ways you can give some putts at work:

 Early Dismissal

Your team has worked very hard in the last four weeks on an important project. The final deliverable for the project is due in three weeks, and there’s plenty to do. You’re inclined to have them make the three-foot putt on Friday by having them stay at the office until 5:00 pm. However, studies show that letting your team leave early will boost morale and productivity. Give them the putt and send them home early Friday and have them make the putt when the project is on the line.

Five Minute Rule

Giving someone a putt tells them that it was close enough. When one of your team members shows up five minutes late to a meeting, don’t call attention to it. Just because you’re in charge, doesn’t mean you need to find every opportunity to remind the team that you control their destiny. Your team members might show up late to meetings or even miss some deadlines, but they most likely tried to make it. Remember the last time you missed a three-footer for birdie? If you expect your team to make every three-foot putt, you are sure to be disappointed. Adjust your expectations and work on telling your team, “that’s good” and move on.

Give Credit

The best leaders look for ways to give credit to their team. If you helped Susan solve a problem for the team, give her the putt and recognize her for solving the problem. When you give credit to your team, you’ll have that same feeling you had when you gave your opponent or playing partner that three-footer on 18 so that they could break 80.  Remember how you walked away from that 18th hole knowing that you contributed to their best score in months. The same holds true at the office. Give your team the credit and you’ll look like a hero.

Giving putts at the office shows your team that you trust them. So, unless you are the lead surgeon on a team performing open-heart surgery, look for more opportunities to give your team some putts. Try not to take everything too seriously and recognize when it’s time to “pick it up” and move on to the next hole.