What glitters is platinum

By Kristin Smith-Ely

How is it possible I lived my whole life not knowing that there was a rule that was superior to the golden one?

If you are like me, you grew up with parents who enforced what is often referred to as The Golden Rule. And most everyone knows what it is: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Of course we learn very quickly as we go through life that rule can be difficult to live by, but striving for it sure is admirable and right.

So if it’s so difficult, then why am I about to tell you about an even harder one? Google the The Platinum Rule and you’ll get some 49 million returns. Either you’ve also heard of it, or I’ve rocked your world just now. You might be thinking like I did the first time I heard it. How is it possible I lived my whole life not knowing that there was a rule that was superior to the golden one?

But I’m here to tell you it very much exists. Urban Dictionary does a really great job of explaining its superiority over it’s golden compadre. “The Platinum Rule is a much more empathetic, sensitive moral guideline than its predecessor, The Golden Rule, which ignores the wishes and preferences of the recipients of the behavior in favor of imposing the giver’s preferences onto others in a misguided attempt at kindness.” (This is the first and probably last time I will ever quote Urban Dictionary in my editor’s column.)

So why am I sharing The Platinum Rule with you? Understanding it and following it is critical to being successful as a business owner or supervisor. Whether you are managing empolyees or customers, the rule absolutely applies. You want to make decisions and treat individuals the way they want to be treated. Why? It’s quite simple, really. It’s what brings out the best in people. It’s what makes your employee stay a little past his shift to make sure a job gets done right. It’s what keeps a customer coming back each year instead of going with the competition to save a few dollars. It means less turnover of clients and employees. If you can master the art of The Platinum Rule then you’ve basically got it made.

Now you’re probably asking, where do I start? In order to fully execute The Platinum Rule, you need to do your homework. Spend some time getting to know the people who work for you and the clients you serve, and you will be well equipped to treat them the way they want to be treated, and not in the way that best suits or serves you.