When we were young, our parents taught us the Golden Rule. “Do unto others and you would want done unto you.” In other words, treat others as you want to be treated. This extends to our communication as well. We tend to communicate with others in the way WE want to be communicated with.
The problem with this approach is that people are complex. They have very different communication needs. When we communicate with them in the way WE want to be communicated with, we are not necessarily meeting THEIR communication needs.
We suggest using the Platinum rule when communicating with others — communicating with others in the way THEY want to be communicated with. For example, you may be an extrovert who is very animated in your communication and tend to touch people when you’re talking with them – in an effort to show them you care and feel connected. When communicating with someone who is introverted and who has clear boundaries for personal space, we can modify how we communicate with them! This allows your message to be heard without the distraction that the extroverted, touchy style can cause. There are countless examples of how one would communicate differently using the Platinum Rule. How do you know what style a person is? We suggest learning more about the DISC Behavioral Style system. It teaches us how to read the behavioral style of others, to “flex” our natural style to meet the needs of others. It’s all about being heard – and not distracting the listener.
This becomes important when you consider that only 7% of what we communicate is with words. 58% is communicated through body language and the remaining 35% through tone of voice. In other words, HOW you communicate determines the success (or failure) of the delivery of your message!
March 1, 2018