Does the Golden Rule Still Apply?

Does the Golden Rule Still Apply?

The Golden Rule was spoken by Jesus long ago, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In recent years the Platinum Rule has been added: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” A nice twist, but a twist that can make us pause. And it may even run the risk of losing the intended message. For communicating in teams, I like the simplicity of the Golden Rule because it has been around a long time, it is straight forward, and most people have heard of it. This simple principle spoken many years ago is worth reviewing today.

Studies show that we are naturally wired to take care of ourselves. Truth is, we are on our mind a lot each day. We are wired to survive, and in decision-making many, many times we default to questioning how these decisions affect me. This simple passage can serve as a great guide, a reminder of how we can show respect for one another, have good, productive conversations and even how we can make better decisions. It gives us guidance on how to treat our customers, our team or anyone we come into contact with.

I have asked staff over the years: “How does someone gain respect on this team?” The answer is frequently, “You earn it.” When I ask someone to explain that answer, the response is about action and behavior. It is about, “how well someone works, how dependable they are, do they tell the truth, do they take initiative, do they whine and complain.”  

If you have been leading people for more than a week, you know that you need others to work with you and each other in order to accomplish great things. Encouraging people to work together, giving them a clear path about how to treat one another and what the expectations are, the Golden Rule is a core value worth discussing often with the team. If I want to be respected and treated as such, I start by modeling this to others. There is no guarantee, but usually respect is given in return.

“I’d been reading up on comparative religion. The thing is that all major religions have the Golden Rule in common. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Not always the same words but the same meaning.”

~Norman Rockwell

Keep cultivating greatness in your teams!


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