If we want to communicate with influence we need to forget the Golden Rule - “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Of course we all want to be treated with dignity and respect; that is a given. But beyond that, it is important not to approach or communicate with others in the way we like to be treated, but approach them in the way that suits them the best; the Platinum Rule.
Research shows that people would rather talk with someone nice over someone knowledgeable. Think about that for a moment. Can you remember a time in your career that you knew the person who had the answer to the question you had, but they weren’t very nice; so instead you asked around among the people you liked, hoping they had the answer you needed?
Have you ever been frustrated by the detailed answer someone gave you to a simple question? Today’s society values brevity. People send short but frequent text messages to update others on their whereabouts and happenings. Few people listen to an entire State of the Union Address, but instead prefer to be informed later by the summary sound bites provided by the news media. This is not a new phenomenon created by technology, however.
Have you ever been around people who say whatever they think without any consideration for the appropriateness of their remarks? Perhaps you finally decided to approach them about their lack of tact, but received the response: “That’s just the way I am. People need to get used to me.”