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Forget the Golden Rule

By Sue Blaney

I was raised on the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. This concept was drilled into me at school, at church and by my parents. And it made good sense at the time. But the Golden Rule is passé today; especially in the workplace. You’ll see what I mean…

I worked with a class of 11 mid-to-executive level leaders teaching them the basics of behavioral analytics, and each of them found it hugely informative to understand the behavioral drives and motivational needs of their direct reports. And in every case, the people who worked for them had very different behavioral profiles than they did.  So these managers would be off-base from the get-go if they applied the Golden Rule at work!  How much more effective they can be if they “do unto others as they want to be treated.”

Let’s take this from the theoretical to the concrete and I’ll show you why this is important. I was called in to help two highly skilled people at a client company who were not getting along.  The manager, Peter, is a pretty serious guy about his career; he cares about quality, accuracy and precision, and he is an expert in his field. As his industry has morphed in the past 10 years he has kept abreast of all the developments. Amanda came to work for him about 6 months ago, and she too has some excellent experience; but she has been chafing under his careful watch. She told me she feels “demotivated” by his micro-managing style.

What Peter did not understand was that Amanda’s style and needs are quite different from his. She is creative and prefers an environment where she can reach her goals in her own way. She is a successful professional, so it really wasn’t necessary for Peter to supervise her so closely. What Amanda learned when we talked it through, was that Peter’s behaviors were motivated by his desire for details and clarity on expectations. Peter was going out of his way to treat Amanda as he would have liked to be treated. But she wanted the exact opposite.

How do managers discover what management style will work best for their employees? Open communication, two-way feedback and an honest direct approach are key. And if you want to save time, add objectivity, like a behavioral assessment that will highlight exactly what you need to know!

Learn more about The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment. It’s been designed to be the most effective, simple, and easy to use science-based assessment that provides an accurate depiction, or pattern, of people’s core drives, and therefore insight into their needs and behaviors.

Sue is the corporate facilitator at PI.

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