Does Your Business Embrace "The Golden Rule"?

Posted by Katie Scheer

Mar 18, 2014 10:00:00 AM

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  The Golden Rule concept exists through hundreds of cultures and is known by millions; therefore, it should come as no surprise that it intersects with your business practices and behavior.  It should be your ethical pillar upon which your business sits.

Do you consciously consider with each business move that is made what impact will be felt, how will your decisions and actions show up, and what chain of events/emotions will occur because of them?  If not, you should.  For your business to earn the respect it deserves, you should carefully choose which steps to take and which words to speak.  You should handle the business and treat your employees, coworkers, vendors, and customers with the same regard that you would like for them to handle their work and treatment of you.  What, in the least, should we consider as we put the Golden Rule into practice in our businesses? 

(Below adapted from "Golden Rule in Business Etiquette" by Eric Feigenbaum.)

  • GoldenRuleinBusinessListening- Everyone wants, and has a right, to be heard (including you).  Listening and really hearing others is an essential competent of effective business behavior.  Not only will you gain your listeners' respect, but you will probably do your job better because you have a better understanding. “As a rule, good listeners have an easier time having their voices heard because the Golden Rule works two ways and compels others to listen especially to someone who listens to them.”
  • Talking- The key to the Golden Rule is knowing that no one is the same; therefore, speaking to someone the way you would want to be spoken to means speaking to him/her in a manner that matches his/her style.  Adjust your tone and word choice to the audience who will be absorbing what you say.  Furthermore, being professional requires that you are polite and respectful, and you should keep personal issues and feelings secondary to the role required of you.
  • Managing- Being a good and effective manager is not simple so carefully applying the Golden Rule to all interactions is imperative in order for you to earn respect and confidence from your employees/team. Always consider how the person will react and if the reaction you anticipate is the outcome that you desire.  Also, constantly show that you value the employee’s input by asking for his/her feedback and by giving the person a chance to be considered and shine. “Similarly, although it may not be pleasant, letting someone know in a polite, respectful way why they were overruled or passed over for an opportunity gives them the consideration people crave."
  • Respecting- “The common denominator of all ways to apply the Golden Rule is affording respect. Reciprocation is in fact, a way to demonstrate that respect. Whether dealing with the highest or lowest person in your organization, a customer, a vendor or anyone you deal with in business, affording respect contributes to your own integrity -- which is of course, the hallmark and highest quality of a professional.”  If there is no respect being exemplified in your business, you are vulnerable to lose your valued employee team and your loyal customers.

As you can tell, practicing the Golden Rule is good business because your success depends upon it.  What can you do to better apply the Golden Rule in your business?  If you are stuck or need someone to help implement these concepts, we can be a resource for you. 

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Topics: Listening, Respect, Honesty and Trust, Leadership and Management

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