Chances are, as a child you were told about The Golden Rule: “Treat people the way you would like to be treated”. When it came to your playmates, school activities, developing relationships with friends, and now, as an adult in the professional world, it has provided the guideline for your interactions with others. However, have you ever heard of The Platinum Rule? It says you should treat people how they would like to be treated.
You may be saying “But wait! I have high standards and I make sure to treat people really well; I notice all the little details that are so important to me!”
And therein is the difference; it is not about you, it is about the other person. What may be of concern to you might have little impact on someone else, whereas what is of the utmost importance to another individual could be considered silly or of no importance on your part. For example, obtaining an apology when something goes wrong is number one on your list; it tells you the other person really understands your upset feelings. But someone else may not care about receiving an apology at all — he wants to know what is going to be done to fix the problem.
People are different; we have individual needs, interests, likes, dislikes and desires. If you want to have an impact on someone, focus on what is needed, not what you have to offer. Following The Platinum Rule will help you be more effective when it comes to understanding concerns, resolving conflicts, and moving things forward.
How do you know what that might be? Why not try asking?