The Platinum Rule

Last fall, my elementary school was in the process of revising their whole school rules. It had been about a decade since they were changed and they were looking for something fresh.

At about the same time I attended a workshop where the presenter shared about the Platinum Rule. The platinum rule takes the golden rule to the next level. Where the golden rule requires us to “treat others the way we want to be treat,” the platinum rule asks us to “treat others the way they want to be treated.”

Merely, changing one word can have a significant impact on the way we live our lives. First this rule asks us to think about others first, then it requires us to act on what we notice. Our committee wondering if this concept could be taught to young children? (Dr. Alessandra, primarily works with companies to improve staff morale and sales productivity.) Therefore, at the principal’s suggestion we involved students in the planning of the new school rules.  It turns out they loved the idea and caught on very quickly.

We explained to them that we all have different needs.  Some people like hugs and attention when they are upset while others like to be left alone.  Therefore if we give others what “we” want, we might actually bother them or hurt their feelings.  Well the students literally took off running to prepare a whole school meeting for their peers to present the concept.  In the weeks leading up to the race, they filled the hallways with signs which read ditch the golden rule.  During the whole school meeting that they presented for their peers they staged a race.  Gold raced against platinum, and platinum won.  It was a lot of fun for all involved.

I feel that this concept, while it has been around for decades and used in the business world, can be applied in all settings, and has powerful implications for how we interact with each other.   Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

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