What’s the Golden Rule?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Terrible advice… If you take it at face value, which is the way most people interpret the rule.
At face value, the Golden Rule says that if you want to be treated in a certain way, that’s precisely how you should treat others.
At first glance, that seems to check out, but if you dig deeper, you realize it doesn’t pass the sniff test.
Everyone is different, and they want to be treated in different ways.
If you’re a parent or anyone who’s ever been responsible for other humans in any capacity, you know that you can’t communicate with everyone in the same way. If you do, you’ll get favorable results 10% of the time, max.
So what do you do?
You approach each individual differently.
Some people need more information and nuance to make a decision or take action. Others feel overwhelmed if they have too much information, which creates unnecessary friction for them.
The people you interact with, aren’t you.
They don’t want to be communicated with or treated like you want to be treated.
Each person has their own special sauce; your job is to figure out what that is and give it to them.
What’s the special sauce?
In a word, empathy.
Empathy is the key that unlocks other people.
Empathy isn’t an emotion; it’s a skill.
It’s when we wade into the emotions of others with curiosity and a desire to understand them, and we do so with their best interests at heart.
It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them on any level, but it does mean we acknowledge them as human beings.
When we demonstrate empathy, people open up and share the recipe for their “special sauce.”
Empathy is the key to connecting with other humans both professionally and personally.
Once you have the “sauce,” you can meet them where they are and communicate with them in the way that gives them the best possible shot at success.