The Golden Rule is WRONG

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

Let’s break that down for a moment.

Do to others – take actions that will impact another person.
As you would have them do to you – in a way that you would want to be treated.

At first glance this seems logical.

Only…well, it lacks empathy. And is self-centered and egocentric, no?

Like “I know how everyone else wants to be treated – They like to be treated the same way I like to be treated.”

BS (That’s Bad Science for those not in the know).

There is another version of this rule.

Don’t do to others what you don’t like done to you.

This at least says “hey, if you don’t like it, don’t assume someone else will.”

But followers and leaders need to do better.

They need to think beyond self.

And ASK.

How does the other WANT to be treated? What DO they want done to (and for) them? What is the best way to approach them, engage them, talk to them, and get them on board? How does someone most appreciate getting support, advice, and feedback?

Learning how someone likes to be managed, for instance, helps find the point of inflection between a followers desire for self expression or freedom to explore (a laissez faire approach for example) and a leaders need to know how things are progressing (potential micromanagement).

And it lets followers understand the leader’s feelings about what they consider being “in the loop” and updated in a reasonable manner (email, slack, face to face) and timeframe. And gives the follower the ability to provide the leader with good advice, thoughts, suggestions, and worries. Asking good questions opens the door for good followership.

#BeCourageous and ASK about the best way to engage someone. Don’t be shy, ASK how best to approach someone, broach difficult discussions, and work with them. ASK if and how you can help.

ASK in what way you can do unto them that which you need to do..


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