by Dr. Tony Alessandra
Respect for others goes beyond the Golden Rule. You remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” It’s been around for over 2000 years and still has a solid reputation as a rule to live by. I like to add what I call “The Platinum Rule” which says: “Do unto others as they want to be done unto.” The Platinum Rule helps us to avoid the possible conflicts the Golden Rule could unintentionally set up.
Let me explain. When you treat others as you want to be treated, you can end up offending others who have different needs, wants and expectations from you. Following the Golden Rule verbatim means treating others from your point of view.
That means you naturally tend to speak in the way you are most comfortable listening; or sell the way you like to be sold; or manage the way you like others to direct you.
When you treat people as you seek to be treated, it can cause tension. Why? Because the other person may not like your way. That brings us to the second reason the Golden Rule can actually damage relationships. It implies that all people wanted to be treated the same when, in fact, our preferences are not all alike. So the application of this principle varies from one individual to the next based on their personality differences. Respecting others means learning to treat different people differently, according to their needs, not ours. This leads to greater understanding and acceptance all around.
The trait of “respect for others” can be narrowly interpreted as “live and let live.” That philosophy is giving way to a larger interpretation which breaks down the old “us and them” mentality and leads us to the conclusion that there’s only “us.”