It may be time to upgrade the “golden rule.” Rather than trying to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” we should adopt the “platinum rule,” advises a recent article from Advisor Perspectives.

The problem with the golden rule is that it’s based on the assumption that everyone wants to be treated the same way you want to be treated. But that simply isn’t the case. The platinum rule, on the other hand, takes individual feelings and preferences into account by stating: “Treat people the way they want to be treated.”

Applying this standard shifts the focus away from you and toward the other person with every interaction. You begin to realize how important it is to understand what others want and need and the role you play in accommodating them. For example, do they prefer to communication via email, phone, in person? Is there a preferred time of day for meetings?

Source: “The Golden Rule Fails Financial Advisors,” Advisor Perspectives, Nov. 23. 2021


Many of us have a natural tendency to avoid conflict. But this can lead us to remain silent, hindering the open exchange of thoughts and feelings—and innovation suffers as a result. However, if you’re committed to finding a resolution, conflict can actually strengthen a relationship and spur innovation, says leadership development and training expert Stacey Engle in a posting on the Fierce blog.

Engle offers these four tips for effective conflict management:

  • Show curiosity and respect for even the most oddball ideas. Sharing ideas often includes brainstorming, where creativity can flow freely and strong merit doesn’t have to be present before expressing an idea. Respectful feedback can be a productive part of the decision-making process, but make sure to address and diffuse any criticism that becomes personal and is directed toward a person rather than an idea.
  • Use objective data as a benchmark to help determine which proposed ideas have the most merit. This provides an effective way to reach a final decision without being dismissive of individual ideas.
  • Own the decision. As a leader, it’s necessary to take different perspectives into consideration and avoid “the illusion of inclusion.” But at the end of the day, you must be the one to decide which direction will be the most beneficial for the entire company—and consensus is not a requirement.
  • Address lingering emotions through follow-up conversations.

Source: When Heads Collide: How to Make Conflict Productive at Work