Most people are aware of the "Golden Rule." In its simplest form, it states, "Treat others as you would like to be treated." Based on the basic concept of mutual respect, it is typically beneficial as a work, personal and life philosophy component.A popular variation, commonly called the "Platinum Rule," coined and trademarked by Dr. Tony Alessandra, often works well in the business world. "Treat others the way they would like to be treated" is the basis of the Platinum Rule. Adopting this philosophy with your employees may result in your becoming a better manager and leader in your professional career.
Commit to modifying your management style, using the Platinum Rule, to improve team chemistry and performance. This approach is not a quick fix, but is more a professional lifestyle direction that, over time, may become woven into your career fabric.
Become familiar with the four primary behavioral styles of your staff members. Your team members typically fall into one of these categories - Directors, Socializers, Thinkers, or Relators - with behavioral and personality traits that accompany these designations. The definitions are not exotic or complex, but merely describe the traits and tendencies of people.
Categorize your own professional behavioral style to better understand how you see yourself. This self-evaluation will provide a baseline of behavior from your own perspective.
Evaluate your individual staff members to understand their behavioral style and internal motivation. You could even use the self-evaluation approach first, allowing each employee to reflect on their inner preferences in their professional lives. You could then take these results and compare them with your own opinion about each employee.
Make the conscious effort to use this information to modify your approach toward your individual employees. Treat them in a manner consistent with their behavioral style (Director, Socializer, Thinker, or Relator), which you've previously determined.
Evaluate individual and team performance after you implement the Platinum Rule philosophy. Observe staff behavior, comparing their demeanor and performance to typical results prior to implementing the rule.
Continue to reinforce this management approach if staff contentment and performance reflect a positive change from an individual and team perspective. Repetition will benefit you, your team, and your employer over time. You may be perceived by both your staff and senior management as a star manager.
Be professionally "subtle" in your implementation of the Platinum Rule as a more direct display may be perceived as less than sincere. Be consistent in your implementation to avoid employee confusion. Be flexible and patient as positive changes may not be immediately evident.
Avoid the temptation to strictly interpret individual behavioral traits as few people will exhibit all defined components of personality types. Don't immediately react negatively to individuals that occasionally appear to deviate from their predominant preferences. Remember, all staff have personal lives outside of work that ebb and flow differently.