Reframing the "Golden Rule"
In my post last week, I referred to a book I co-authored in 2002 with the late Allan Katcher, Ph.D., titled Managing Your Strengths. Thirty years earlier, in collaboration with Stuart Atkins, they created the LIFO Orientations Method (also known as the LIFO Method or just LIFO, which should not be confused with the financial accounting term).
When the book was published LIFO had already helped over 8 million individuals at large and small organizations in 26 countries to improve self-awareness of their behavioral styles and to learn strategies for achieving more satisfactory results in their business and personal relationships. While not as well-known as other survey-based psychometric tools, LIFO is effective for developing leaders and improving teamwork. Today the LIFO Method includes many topic-specific surveys including Leadership Styles, Selling Styles, Coaching Styles, Stress Management Styles, and Learning Styles. One foundational component of LIFO is a rethinking of the Golden Rule.
“Treat others the way we would like to be treated” is a basic tenet espoused in many religions including Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The LIFO Golden Rule refocuses our perspective by stating, “Treat others the way they would like to be treated.” Orienting our attitudes towards others requires a willingness to suspend judgement, hold back from giving advice, and instead listen to what others are saying to discern what they may be thinking, observe signals from their body language, and discover how they see the world in order to connect, communicate and share information more effectively. Next time I will discuss the ‘Strength Weakness Paradox’ which is important for understanding why one’s preferred behaviors can change, sometimes quite significantly and destructively, when one is under stress or duress, making us less effective in achieving our aims.