The Golden Rule Isn’t Good Enough


Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Luke 6:31New Living Translation

The Golden Rule is awesome. If everyone lived by it, all our problems would be solved, right?

Well…I love the golden rule and if everyone followed it we would surely be in a better, happier world, but there is a problem with it.

What if I don’t want to be treated the way you want to be treated? If we really want to help people we need to go a step above the Golden Rule to the Platinum Rule.

I was talking to a new friend the other day who’s looking to make some changes in his life. He wants to follow his Passionate Purpose to a job, vocation, calling that he will love, but he’s not exactly sure what that is.

As we talked, he explained that lots of friends have been trying to help him by saying things like this:

  • You want to earn more money right? You don’t earn enough. (I’m sure this person meant well, but you might as well say, Hey I think you’re a loser!)
  • You want regular 8-5 hours, Monday-Friday.
  • You should start a network marketing business out of your home. You’ll love it.

These friends were assuming what they want is what my friend wants.


  • He doesn’t really care if he makes more money – he wants to love what he does and feel called to do it.
  • He has some flexibility on what days and times he’s willing to work.
  • He has no interest at all in network marketing.

His friends could help him more if they followed The Platinum Rule. Tony Alessandra wrote a book about it. It’s focused on the other person’s desires and it states:

Treat others the way they want to be treated.

But, how do you know what someone else wants?

  1. Ask them.
  2. Truly listen to the answer.
  3. Summarize their answer back to them to make sure you understood it.
  4. Treat them in a way that lines up with what they want.
  5. Don’t try to talk them into what you want for them.

Imagine what using the Platinum Rule could do for your relationships with your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and clients.

But I think we can go even further on this. Let’s really think about the other person and follow the Diamond Rule:

Treat others the way they want to be treated and anticipate how they would want to be treated if they knew what you knew.

But how do you anticipate what someone else would want?

  1. Follow the steps of the Golden Rule (see above)
  2. Gather more information and think about what they might want next
  3. Ask them if your idea is something they would like
  4. If yes, help them get it

A few months ago I was buying a new bicycle for my daughter. As I was checking out the cashier said, You know what, this bicycle is set to go on sale tomorrow, would you like me to check with my manager and see if I can give you the sale price today? (Wait a second. Was that a trick question? Am I being Punk’d? Where’s Ashton?)

The clerk was able to get me the sale price and I was a very happy customer. She served me with the Platinum Rule. Do you think I’m more loyal to that business now? Oh, yeah.

Questions for comments: How can you start using the Platinum and Diamond Rules with your personal and business relationships? When you’ve used them, what responses did you get?

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that I view as rude, snarky, mean or off-topic. Hey, this is to support each other and have fun! Let's Go!

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