In Your Environments, Be Sure To Consider Following The Golden Rule To Start

Leadership Lesson: You can’t treat someone how they want to be treated (The Platinum Rule) without first working with them effectively enough (The Golden Rule) to learn how they want to be treated.

Although The Self 60 – Professional Development Mind/Set is numbered, the list is not necessarily listed in rank or priority order. Even though that’s the case, the placement of “Practice the Golden Rule” at number 1 is absolutely intentional.

This is because, before anything else is considered for interacting and working with others, The Golden Rule — “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You”– is key. If there were no other items on this list, no other suggestions or advice, as long as you treated others as you would like to be treated, your chances of gaining success in any endeavor are greater.

Yes, this may seem to over-generalize how people want to be treated. So let’s go into that.

What you put out into your group, your team, your division, your organization, your relationships, and even with your clients, ripples through each of those environments and helps set the tone for the relationship going forward. The commitment to influencing the environment and setting the tone in a positive manner is one of the strongest foundations of leadership ability.

And that’s what we would want to come back to us — a positive and productive tone and approach.

Related: What Kind Of Environment Does Your Leadership Leave In Its Wake?

Doing Unto Others (DUO) does not mean acting first and dealing with the consequences later but instead preemptively being cognizant of the manner in which you approach your stakeholders, whether in or outside of your workplace. Sometimes we act first and think later without considering what the repercussions would be to us, our stakeholders, or our organization. So, DUO is a focused and self-aware approach to one’s role in their surroundings.

So what are those things that should go both ways? What are those things that we should infuse into our interactions by which we would benefit if we received those same actions in return from our colleagues and environment?

As a matter of what should go both ways, some examples include respect, teaching, mentoring, support, and guidance, among other things.

For a deeper breakdown, ask yourself:

  • What do I need from others to succeed?
  • Do I expect and benefit from others’…
    • professionalism?
    • courtesy?
    • respect?
    • sincerity?
    • genuineness?
    • support?
    • loyalty?
    • ability to teach?
    • investment?
    • commitment?
    • taking ownership of their work?
    • selflessness?
    • initiative?
    • ability to develop?
    • evolution?
    • integrity?
    • ambition?
    • motivation?
    • [you name it]?

One should not go through his or her career — or employers, friends or acquaintances, for that matter — with expectations of only taking others’ resources (listed above). Whether it is a conscious or subconscious habit, solely benefiting from others’ shared resources and attitudes does not add value to either party or the combined effort of the parties.

Too often, the commitment goes only one way with certain parties not doing their part or providing their share of the work or growth. Without everyone putting in their fair and equal share, the full potential of the collective involved is not carried out and growth is forgone in both productivity and success.

Related: What Do You Expect For Yourself That You Don’t Provide To Others?

Always treat others with the same approach by which you would expect to be treated to be able to reach your full ability and success.

And some people may say that instead of The Golden Rule [“…as you would have them do unto you.”], we should instead approach others with The Platinum Rule [“…as they would have you do unto them.”].

The Platinum Rule is very important, and, eventually, it should be the absolute goal — treating others the right way for them, in business and in life. But you can’t know from the very start what someone needs without learning about them first. So, in the meantime, we need to err on the side of caution and treat others the way we would expect to be treated at a basic level [Golden] — with common respect, courtesy, dignity, attention, etc. — and then later customize our actions to that person’s needs and preferences [Platinum].

There needs to be that balance of effort across all participants, because an imbalance or lopsided effort will only eventually weaken the stability of one’s organization, group, cause, or relationship.

Taking without giving will not elevate you. Take a second and think about how unrealistic that would be.

So…What About You?

  • Do you make sure to put in as much as you get out?
  • When did you first become aware of the need to put in your fair share?
  • What disadvantages have you seen develop in environments where this balance among participants was absent?

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