Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beyond the Golden Rule

We all know the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I had never given it much thought beyond the obvious admonition that we should be nice to other people lest they treat me badly. Recently, I learned about that rule taken to its next logical step: The Platinum Rule.

The Platinum Rule is a book by Dr. Tony Alessandra. I haven't read the books, but I like the summary Allesandra shares here. It goes like this: Treat others the way they want to be treated.

At first glance, it may sound like the same thing, right? Well, not really. It’s a matter of perspective. The Golden Rule is said from my perspective. If I follow it, I’m telling people how I want things done. The Platinum Rule is me taking into consideration how YOU want to be treated.

Used properly, this can transform you at the personal and professional level. For example, should I focus on how I want to be treated or on how my family wants to be treated? Which will help to build more harmony and peace at home? Which do I control? At work, should I focus on how I want my team to treat me or on how they want to be treated? Which do I control? Which will create a better teamwork environment?

It can change the nature of your relationship with the people around you.

An effective leader looks at how he/she deals with their team, making sure they feel like they really are part of a team rather than just employees assigned to you. This puts a lot of responsibility on the leader. But, that’s why you are the leader.