The Platinum Rule

At my job, it was announced my unit would take a team building training session. My first thought and immediate reaction:

I was pleasantly surprised to say it was pretty good. Really great in fact. I learned new things about my colleagues as well as participate in a pretty sweet team-building exercise. What stuck with me, however, is what the instructor. Instead of following the golden rule (treat others how you want to be treated) we should instead adopt the platinum rule

Treat others how they want to be treated

It didn’t occur to me later the brilliance of the platinum rule. In order to break it down, let’s reexamine the golden rule:

Treat others how you want to be treated.

The golden rule centers “You” as the standard. The frame of reference. How You want to be treated is more important. Now let’s look at the platinum rule:

Treat others how they want to be treated.

It shifts the focus of “you” and to “they” aka other people. How do they want to be treated and then treat them accordingly.

The problem with the golden rule is that everyone is different. We come from different walks of life. I may be a black woman but not all black women have the same experience as me even if we have gender and race in common. There are a load of things that make us who we are.

Just because you like being called “baby” doesn’t mean everyone else does. Or perhaps, some people strongly prefer to be called “Mr. So-and-So” instead of by their first name. The point is let’s listen to each other. If someone tells you they prefer to be treated, called, or addressed a certain way, out of respect, you do just that.  The reverse is true.

The platinum rule is way better than the golden rule.