The Platinum Rule
We are all different individuals, aren’t we? As such, we must demand individual treatment. We have our own way of processing, thinking, and behaving. We respond differently to different situations, Raz Chorev explains why….
by Raz Chorev
We have all heard of the Golden Rule and many people aspire to live by it. The Golden Rule is not a magic potion. Think about it: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated. Really? This means all people are like you! All like to be treated the same way. This is confusing, though. If I’ll treat everyone like I’d like them to treat me, that’s cool! But then they would treat me like THEY want to be treated! Maybe they’re like to be handled with a lot of emotions, reassurance, and physical contact (hugs and sympathy all over their faces.). Maybe they like to be given hard facts and figures, or just a summary of an event. I might not like that sort of treatment, because I’m different to them!
The Platinum Rule suggests: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from “this is what I want, so I’ll give everyone the same thing” to “let me first understand what they want and then I’ll give it to them.”
Steven Covey, in his classic book says:” seek to understand, not to be understood”. Try to understand the type of person in-front of you, before you impose your personality and preferences onto them. It won’t work!
There are many different (although very similar) “personality tests” available. Some very popular like Myers Briggs, and Wilson Learning System. There is also the DISC profiling, and others. All of these systems, divide the human race to 4 major groups. They call them different names, however essentially they are very close.
The following is a system I’ve learned from Jack Daly, which is based on the Wilson Learning system, and Tony Alessandra, the author of The Platinum Rule:
The goal of The Platinum Rule is personal chemistry and productive relationships. You do not have to change your personality. You do not have to roll over and submit to others. You simply have to understand what drives people and recognize your options for dealing with them.
Jack Daly divides The Platinum Rule behavioral preferences into four basic styles:
Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style. For the sake of simplicity, this article will focus only on dominant styles.
Drivers are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. Drivers are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations. They want to accomplish many things-now-so they focus on no-nonsense approaches to bottom-line results.
Drivers seek expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Drivers accept challenges, take authority, and plunge head first into solving problems. They are fast-paced, task-oriented, and work quickly and impressively by themselves, which means they become annoyed with delays.
Drivers are driven and dominating, which can make them stubborn, impatient, and insensitive to others. Directors are so focused that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.
Expressives are friendly, enthusiastic “party-animals” who like to be where the action is. They thrive on the admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments that come with being in the lime-light.
The Expressive‘s primary strengths are enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are eternal optimists with an abundance of charisma. These qualities help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals.
Expressives do have their weaknesses: impatience, an aversion to being alone, and a short attention span. Expressives are risk-takers who base many of their decisions on intuition, which is not inherently bad. Expressives are not inclined to verify information; they are more likely to assume someone else will do it.
Analyticals are very analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem-solving. Analyticals are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Analyticals are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results. They’re always in control of their emotions and may become uncomfortable around people who very out-going, e.g., Expressives.
Analyticals have high expectations of themselves and others, which can make them over-critical. Their tendency toward perfectionism-taken to an extreme-can cause “paralysis by over-analysis.” Thinkers are slow and deliberate decision-makers. They do research, make comparisons, determine risks, calculate margins of error, and then take action. Analyticals become irritated by surprises and glitches, hence their cautious decision-making. Analyticals are also skeptical, so they like to see promises in writing.
Amiables are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Amiables are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. Their relaxed disposition makes them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. Amiables are excellent team players.
Amiables are risk-aversive. In fact, Amiables may tolerate unpleasant environments rather than risk change. They like the status quo and become distressed when disruptions are severe. When faced with change, they think it through, plan, and accept it into their world. Amiables -more than the other types-strive to maintain personal composure, stability, and balance.
In the office, Amiables are courteous, friendly, and willing to share responsibilities. They are good planners, persistent workers, and good with follow-through.
Amiables go along with others even when they do not agree because they do not want to rock the boat.
Amiables are slow decision-makers for several reasons:
1) Their need for security;
2) Their need to avoid risk;
3) Their desire to include others in the decision-making process.
Let’s see how we can actually put this to work. The first thing we must do is assess ourselves. We need to know exactly who we are, and what image we project in the marketplace. Once we’ve taken the test ourselves (see last page), we’ll be better equipped to analyze other people, and relate to them. We’ve mentioned the Chameleon. Although we don’t really need to lose our personality, we do need to adapt to the other personality type, in order to be effective.
Adapting To Drivers
Drivers are very time-sensitive, so never waste their time. Be organized and get to the point. Give them bottom-line information and options, with probabilities of success, if relevant. Give them written details to read at their leisure. NEVER be late to an appointment with a Driver. Let me stress this point: NEVER be late to an appointment with a Driver. Might as well not arrive at all.
Drivers are goal-oriented, so appeal to their sense of accomplishment. Stroke their egos by supporting their ideas, and acknowledge their power and prestige. Let Drivers call the shots. If you disagree, argue with facts, not feelings. In groups, allow them to have their say because they are not the type who will take a back-seat to others.
When presenting a product or a solution to a Driver, don’t make their minds up for them: rather, give them 2-3 options, recommend the one you think would suit best, but let them have the last say, and make the final decision.
With Directors, in general, be efficient and competent.
Adapting To Expressives
Expressives thrive on personal recognition, so pour it on sincerely. Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions; get excited about them.
Expressives are social-butterflies, so be ready to flutter around with them. A strong presence, stimulating and entertaining conversation, jokes, and liveliness will win them over. They are people-oriented, so give them time to socialize. Avoid rushing into tasks.
With Expressives, in general, be interested in them.
Adapting To Analyticals
Analyticals are time-disciplined, so be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. Support Analyticals in their organized, thoughtful approach to problem-solving. Be systematic, logical, well-prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work independently. Allow them to talk in detail.
In work groups, do not expect Analyticals to be leaders or outspoken contributors, but do rely on them to conduct research, crunch numbers, and perform detailed foot-work for the group. If appropriate, set guidelines and exact deadlines. Analyticals like to be complimented on their brain-power, so recognize their contributions accordingly.
With Analyticals, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.
Adapting To Amiables
Amiables are relationship-oriented, want warm and fuzzy relationships, so take things slow, earn their trust, support their feelings, a
nd show sincere interest. Talk in terms of feelings, not facts, which is the opposite of the strategy for Analyticals. Amiables don’t want to ruffle feathers. They want to be assured that everyone will approve of them and their decisions. Give them time to solicit co-workers’ opinions. Never back an Amiable into a corner. It is far more effective to apply warmth to get this chicken out of its egg than to crack the shell with a hammer.
With Amiables, in general, be non threatening and sincere.
For more in-depth analysis of the different personalities, I will recommend reading “The Platinum Rule” by Tony Alessandra. You could find the personality test, to assess yourself, or you could download it from my Blog. I’ve also prepared a Ready Reference Guide, which you could take with you, and prepare to appointments. Ask yourself this question before every appointment:
“What kind of person am I about to meet with?”
When you meet the person, try to see within the first 90 seconds if you could answer these two questions:
1. Is this person more assertive or less assertive?
2. Is this person more responsive or less responsive?
At the end of each appointment, see if you were right!
The Platinum Rule provides powerful life-skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children.
Based on Tony Alessandra’s famous book – The Platinum Rule.
Proudly brought to you by Raz Chorev. CEO of Continuity Programs Australia,