“Do unto others as…” Well, you know the rest of what’s pretty much universally known as The Golden Rule. The REAL Golden Rule of business success starts with the same words but ends a little differently than most people expect.
Yes, that does eliminate”the one with the gold rules,” which some misguided folks think is the real Golden Rule.
This is not an attempt to downplay the importance of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” because it has a great deal of meaning to many people and, as a rule, really is golden. There are also ways that thought is important in business.
It is a sign of kindness and caring to treat someone the way you would want to be treated. We just don’t see it as the Golden Rule of Business, though, especially not when we’re talking about business success.
Why Not “As You Would Have Them Do Unto You”
Let’s turn that around with question back – why WOULD a customer or potential customer necessarily want to be treated like we want to be treated ourselves? We’re all individuals, after all, with our own interests, needs and wants. There may be someone, or multiple someones, who wants to be treated the way we want to treated, but it’s hard to think that everyone who interacts with our business feels that way.
- want to obtain our product/service information;
- want to ask questions to determine how well our product/service fits what they’re seeking;
- want to make, pay for and receive our product/service; or,
- seek service or even complain after the sale,
…in the same way we prefer?
We shouldn’t even assume that anyone who we touch with our business wants to be treated as we do – – at least not until we have a solid reason for thinking that way.
So…what IS the Golden Rule of Business?
Treat Others as THEY Want to be Treated
The Golden Rule of Business only varies from the other one by a few words but a whole world of intention and action.
Do unto others as they would have you do unto them
Yes, that’s it…treat people as they would want to be treated. Sound simple? Maybe in concept, but how do you do it? After all, in order to treat someone the way they want to be treated, we have to KNOW how they want to be treated.
Ahhh, not so simple now, is it? After all, we know how we want to be treated, which makes it so much easier to know what to say and do if that’s the rule guiding our actions.
How do we learn how customers and potential customers want to be treated? After all, we don’t walk around with little thought balloons over our heads that let everyone know what we think (which is at once intriguing and terrifying to consider).
We’re going to discuss a lot more about understanding how customers want to be treated – and then treating them that way – in future posts. Til then, here’s a one word hint to start you off – – one word that paints a masterpiece of thought and action if you consider what it means – – LISTEN!