How to Live by the Platinum Rule

Just what is the “Platinum Rule”? Most of us have heard of the “Golden Rule” and have tried to live by it throughout our lives. The Golden Rule states “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You” or treat others like you would like to be treated. Take a good look at the words there.

Platinum Rule bookHere is the real question: Do you really want to be treated in the same ways as others? If we realign our perspective of the Golden Rule, it can become the Platinum Rule: “Do Unto Others As They’d Like Done Undo Them” or treat others in the way theywould like to be treated. The concept of the Platinum Rule was developed by Drs. Tony Alessandra and Michael J. O’Conner in the late 1990′s and still applies today.

Before we ever open our mouths and say a word, we send messages to others about who we are and how we behave. From these unspoken messages, based on one’s interpretation of our behavior, we allow others to develop attitudes about us. Such judgment of us creates barriers we have to overcome to build relationships long before we have a chance to let people get to know us.

We make decisions, take actions and say things that are interpreted by others. Their interpretation of our behavior forms their perception of whom we are. Their perception is their reality – even if we think it is incorrect. Therefore, it is important for us to understand ourselves and how we appear to others.

If we examine different behavioral styles or our actions and how we affect other people, we can discover the clues as to why we do things and why others react to us. Once we understand ourselves, we can observe others to see how they behave and why we react to them. This knowledge will help us interact more effectively, reducing conflict and encouraging collaboration. This information will also help manage differences in our personal and work relationships.

To begin the process of living by the Platinum Rule, we need to begin with self-understanding. We should look at our own behavior and identify strategies for self-management. Performance researchers have stated that individuals who show the highest levels of performance are those who manage themselves effectively. In order to reach the optimal level of performance, a person needs to understand oneself and understand those factors that affect performance, both positively and negatively.

The most effective person is one who:  DiSC quadrants

  • Understands his own style
  • Understands the style of others
  • Identifies the needs of the environment
  • Adapts his behavior to the needs of others and the environment

These four points are key to living by the Platinum Rule. Before we can treat others as they want to be treated, we must understand behavior and how to adapt our behavior to the situation or relationship to be most effective. There are four basic behavioral styles in the DiSC Dimensions of Behavior.The goal of understanding our style is to become self-managing. If we can understand our own actions and reactions, it will be easier for us to understand others. This information can also be applied to all of our relationships. When we understand others, we can adapt our approach to them and treat them with the Platinum Rule.

Take a look at the four behavioral styles of the DiSC Dimensions of Behavior:

  •  Dominance: The person with a Dominance behavioral style focuses on shaping environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish the results they desire.
  • Influence: The person with an Influencing behavioral style focuses on shaping environment by influencing or persuading others to accomplish the results they desire.
  • Steadiness: The person with a Steadiness behavioral style focuses on cooperating with others to carry out tasks to accomplish the results they desire.
  • Conscientiousness: The person with a Conscientiousness behavioral style focuses on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy in the results they desire:

When we learn to appreciate the different behavioral styles, we can monitor our reaction to the different approaches and treat people the way in which they would like to be treated – not the way we want to be treated. This means applying the “Platinum Rule.”