The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated. The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
Recently, while introducing this concept to inspire a client through some change and growth, he asked me, “How do I know how other people want to be treated”.
So I gave him 3 ways:
The most obvious way is to ask them. It requires only a sincere sense of curiosity, mixed with a dose of humility to gain a steady understanding of how your employees want to be treated. The trick here is not to filter what they say through your own lens, but instead to look through theirs. Make it a habit to not only ask, but to observe through behavior what your people are trying to tell you.
You could also borrow ideas from others, like published authors, bloggers or even other business owners. This method will reveal possibilities beyond what you and your people are thinking of, and will teach new language and perspectives around treating others as they want to be treated. One great read I am thinking of as I write this is Daniel Pink’s book “Drive”.
Finally you could become a student of human psychology, and use tools like psychometric profiling to gain a better understanding of where people are at and how to meet them there. I use both behavioral profiling tools as well as a powerful values based assessment to help business owners understand their team members better. The beauty of this approach, when done as a team development exercise, is that it raises the awareness and personal development of all involved parties.
Which one will you choose to focus on?
Clint Best is a business coach and the founder of Kaizen Business Coaching in Kelowna, BC. Clint has been guiding forward thinking business owners through change and growth since 2002.