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The Platinum Rule

The Platinum Rule

I was recently involved in a “discussion” with a “friend” of a friend on Facebook. This person could not understand the value of treating people how they want to be treated—the Platinum Rule. He was only at the place of treating people how he wanted to be treated. I knew better than to try to lecture him on the “wisdom” of my ways. One person’s wisdom is another’s mystery…or should that be misery? Anyway, I was reminded of Isabel Briggs Myers’ ideas and the MBTI instrument.

The MBTI tool follows the premise that in order to understand the world and then make meaningful decisions based on that understanding, we need to take into account all perspectives. Doing this requires us to flex (not change) our type. It means never using type as an excuse. It means trusting that people who are different from us have something important to contribute.

I challenge myself and I challenge you to seek out people who are different from you and try to really understand who they are. Stay open to their point of view instead of trying only to defend yours. Throw out “my way or the highway” and instead remember that “my way and your way builds highways.”

4 Comments

  1. I must say, the platinum rule makes total sense! Maybe more than the golden rule. When working with individuals and teams the greatest ah-ha moments come when we really make an effort to understand others and not just focus on our own needs and preferences. We are stretched and grow when we use type to help us understand, accept and embrace differences–though this is sometimes difficult to do. I will use the platinum rule from now on!

    • Well said. Thanks for the comment.

  2. What an interesting idea! I think the “Platinum Rule” is actually the sophisticated form of the Golden Rule. Deep down, people really want to be understood — it’s why we communicate. They want to be accepted — it’s why we spend so long figuring out what the boundaries to adaptation are. I think that if everybody practiced the Golden Rule on more than a surface level, taking time to understand and accept as we want to be understood and accepted — even if it means not doing surface things that we might want done for us — I think we’ll have a whole lot of precious metals at our disposal.

    • Great comment and welcome to my blog.

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