The golden rule is killing you

If you treat others like you want to be treated, and they have a different preference, you are repelling them, not attracting them.
Offended-businessman

The title is not a misprint – “The Golden Rule” you were taught growing up is killing you, especially now as an adult. Each of you will now fall into one of four groups –

  1. Those who are offended and quit reading
  2. Those who are offended and continue reading out of curiosity
  3. Those who are intrigued and will continue reading to see what this is about
  4. Those who may or may not agree with the title, however, can at least at some point feel comfort in the words because you have been skeptical of “The Golden Rule.”

What is the golden rule?

First let’s ensure we are on the same page – we are talking about “The Golden Rule” that says treat others as you want to be treated, not the one about “He Who Has The Gold.” This is a huge challenge to the consultants, coaches, speakers, leaders, and even parents who preach this and beat it into people’s heads. “The Golden Rule” is hurting you more than you can imagine in countless ways.

Likely you are asking why? And you should be – here is what it all boils down to (hold on for common sense), not everyone wants to be treated the way you do. There I said it, go ahead be mad at me – or be mad at common sense. If everyone wanted to be treated like you – that means we would all want to be treated the same and that is clearly not true.

Let’s explore some examples. Let’s say you are a very quick decision maker. Following “The Golden Rule” says you should treat others like you want to be treated – thus communicate with them like they also want to make very quick decisions. Can you see where this may go wrong? Statistically speaking, only about 14% of the U.S. population are comfortable making very quick decisions. Thus, if we follow “The Golden Rule,” we have significantly less than a 1 in 5 chance of connecting with them the way they want to be connected with.

Here’s another example. Let’s say you happen to love small talk. Following “The Golden Rule” says you should treat others like you want to be treated – thus communicate with them like they love small talk as well. Hopefully, you can see this one and where it could go wrong? Less than one third of the U.S. population enjoys small talk. If we follow “The Golden Rule,” we have a 2 in 3 chance of offending them or flat out pissing them off.

What is the platinum rule?

We could go on forever with examples; however, that would likely only cause you pain, grief, and frustration thinking about the things “The Golden Rule” has goofed up for you throughout your life. Instead, let’s spend a few minutes talking about what you should do. This may shock or surprise you (again, hold on for common sense); treat others as they like to be treated. At Sandler we call it “The Platinum Rule.” 

So let’s go back to our examples. If someone is not a very quick decision maker, treat them like they are not a quick decision maker. They do not want, and are not comfortable with, making very quick decisions. If you are a quick decision maker and treat them like you want to be treated (“The Golden Rule”), you are not connecting with them – you are alienating them and driving them away. Same thing with the small talk example. If you like it and they do not – and you follow “The Golden Rule” – not only are you pushing them away, you are also likely making them dislike you. 

Can you see why “The Golden Rule” is killing you? We only get one chance at a first impression, we either make it or we kill it. If you treat others like you want to be treated, and they have a different preference, you are repelling them, not attracting them. Begin practicing “The Platinum Rule” instead. When you treat others as they want to be treated, they love you. This is tremendously beneficial in both your professional and your personal life!

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About Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in Sales, Management, and Leadership Development for Proactive Business Growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves Visionary Clients across the United States. He can be reached at Mike.Crandall@Sandler.com or at (405) 844-1700.