There’s the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated.
As a leader, the golden rule works well if the person you are working with has the same upbringing as you did, has the same behavioral style, is motivated by the same things, has the same vocabulary and has the same values. In other words, if the person is exactly the same as you are and would want the same things then treating that person how you want to be treated, in it’s immediate, literal sense, would work.
Let’s face it, though. We all want to be treated the way we want to be treated. I like to be treated the way I prefer to be treated and so, I would guess, do you. So treating others the way you want to be treated is treating them the way they want to be treated.
Which brings us to the Leader’s Platinum Rule.
Treat others as THEY want to be treated.
This way of thinking will help you:
- More effectively communicate with others
- More efficiently get to the goal you want to achieve through others
- Create more trusting relationships that will result in others being motivated to help you achieve your goals and reach you and your organization’s outcomes.
Who you are talking to and dealing with, many times, is not like you. You may hate when someone is too direct. There are people that hate it when you aren’t direct with them. When you aren’t direct they think you are “beating around the bush” and they are actually wanting you to “get to the point”.
You may think that people sitting there, hardly looking at you when you are talking to them, or who look at you with that terrible, what we call, “resting face” are cold and are ignoring you. Actually, they may just have a different behavioral style than you do. You being all bubbly and super positive may be coming across to them as superficial and perhaps, dare I say it, artificial.
How do you find out how others want to be treated? Ask them things like:
- How do you prefer to have me contact you? Text, Email, Phone?” Is there a time, during the day, that works best for me to approach you with certain things?
- Do you prefer I just come to your desk when I have a question I need answered right away or is there another way that would work for you?
- When we hit a bump in the road, because everyone always does at some point or another when working together, how would you like for me to approach you with it? Is it best to send you a note and request a meeting, just come up to you and tell you about it, or is there another way of approaching it that you prefer?
- How is it best for me to get feedback from you about how things are going? Is it best to go ahead and schedule some check-in points now or do you want me to reach out to you in a few weeks, or is there another method that you have found that works best for you in regard to giving or receiving feedback?
If you have taken one of our DISC workshops then you know that different behavioral styles prefer you to approach them with the answers to certain questions if you are requesting something from them. The sooner you answer the questions that are in their head the sooner you will get what you need or want from them.
D – Drivers prefer you to be direct, to the point, be prepared, and answer the questions What? As in, what needs to be done? What are you requesting? What is the bottom line?
I – Influencers prefer a friendly approach, to talk about personal things for a moment to “check-in” first, and then to answer the question Who? As in, who will be working on the project, who is coming to the event, who is asking for the donation from us.
S- Supporters prefer you to take a slower pace to approach, be as thoughtful as possible, and answer the question How? As in, how can I help you? How can I serve you best?
C – Calculators prefer that you come to them with the facts, take a logical approach, provide them with details at a pace that allows them to absorb the information and answer the question Why? Why does this need to change? Why do you need what you are asking for? Why does this need to be done now rather than later?
HOMEWORK WITH YOUR TEAM THIS WEEK:
In an upcoming work session with your team, start with a round that asks each member to share with the group one thing that helps them serve the group better. They might share that they prefer to have any instructions in writing so they can be sure to deliver exactly what is needed. Another member might say that they prefer to get a “heads up” about any changes that might be coming up so they can properly prepare for what’s ahead. Another person might share that they prefer for people to be direct with them and just say what’s on their mind, to them directly, so that they can handle any issues immediately, before they fester.
You can start the meeting with the question, “What’s going right?” to get your meeting started with the right tone and thinking patterns.
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At Cortex Leadership Consulting (www.cortexleadership.com) we provide DISC, Motivators, Leadership Competency, Stress, and Team Accountability assessments and workshops to assist you, as a leader, and your team to reach your peak performance. You can reach us at [email protected] or (540) 776-9219 to book a workshop for your team, a customized leadership program for your organization or a keynote speech.