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Could the Golden Rule be wrong? by Bill Irby


How would you feel if you found out that a fundamental truth that you’ve believed since you were a child wasn’t exactly true?

What would think if you found out that the golden rule, or at least the way the rule was taught to you, is wrong?

We all know the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Isn’t that what we have been told all of our lives?

I would suggest that the happiest, most successful, most fulfilled people we know don’t follow the golden rule as we’ve been taught it!

Do the happiest and most successful people you know share any common traits? You know the people I’m talking about. People with genuine success and true lifelong relationships. Do they share common traits? I bet they do, although probably not the traits you would expect.

What traits do they share?

1) They are very good listeners.

Successful people focus on you as you speak. They are truly interested in what you have to say. These successful people treat you in ways that make you feel comfortable and relaxed around them. They always try to understand how you process and absorb information. They give you information in ways that are helpful to you. These folks speak to you in ways that make you feel important and appreciated.

2) They ask you lots and lots of relevant questions!

Don’t you hate people who are always telling and never asking? Very successful people ask you questions and they actually listen to your answer. They listen twice as much as they talk.

3) They take specific action based on what you have told them.

Very successful people prove they listen by treating you and your views with the respect you deserve. We all feel comfortable with people who understand our feelings and how we think. We all want others to know and understand what is important to us.

Here is my key rule when working with others:

Seek to understand before you seek to be understood. I discovered this truth when I was just beginning my career. I was talking to the owner of a small business about my product. I told him all of the benefits and features my product provided. At the end of my call, the business owner told me he really liked my presentation. He only had one question for me. This question really made me take a look at how I worked with my customers.

What was his question. ‘What is this product going to do for me’? I realized that based on our conversation so far, I truthfully couldn’t answer his question.

I hadn’t even asked him enough about his business to understand how our product would benefit him specifically. I certainly didn’t understand his emotional state or his problems.

That moment changed my view of the world. I knew from that moment forward I must first concentrate on understanding the needs and wants of my customer before I would be able to help him understand how my product would benefit him.

Since this time I have used an alternative version of the golden rule. This new ‘golden rule’ has lead me down the path of success and happiness.

My golden rule is ‘do unto others as they would like done unto them’.
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