Treating others as you want to be treated is a philisophy that underscores my entire life. Be it business, friendships, or family, I am passionate about the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule
Goodness comes from goodness. When you put good in, you’ll naturally get good out. As people, we’re all catalysts that can build a better world. That’s a very zoomed-out perspective, but when we take this concept and apply it to our business, it stands just as true.
An Unforgettable Year
The Golden Rule was top of mind for me all last year.
2020 was tough for everyone - and that’s an understatement. The entire world flipped upside down last year. A pandemic, conflicting public sentiments, and widespread economic stressors created a prickly social environment that still pervades into this year.
When life gives us lemons, it’s our responsibility to choose lemonade.
I see the Golden Rule as the perfect philosophy to guide our decisions and actions during both good times and difficult times. There’s no better way to act in service and kindness than the Golden Rule. Making the most of a bad time and staying afloat throughout the storm requires collaborative efforts towards a better future - and it all starts with treating others right.
Applying the Golden Rule to Leadership
Leaders can harness the power of the Golden Rule to support their teams when things get tough. 2020 was a perfect example of a turbulent year - but even the worst situations can be made a little brighter with support, collaboration, and compassion for each other.
These are the five tips that I use to make the Golden Rule a part of my everyday role as a leader:
2020 was a year of unforeseeable circumstances. As a leader, I needed to be there for my team members more than at any other time. Flexibility and patience are two core values that are promoted with the Golden Rule. As a leader, you don’t want to be another negative stress in your team member’s life. Instead, you want to be a pillar of support and guidance to help them climb new heights during difficult times.
Last year was emotionally taxing. It’s likely your team is still stressed, tired, and frustrated. Many may still be going through loss and strife. In a year like 2020, anything could happen. And it did. Leaders needed to be understanding every step of the way.
When bad things happen, leaders can apply the Golden Rule principle to foster greater understanding.
Listen with Authenticity
Not everyone is outspoken. Leaders need to be able to gauge when a team member is going through a hard time - even if they don’t say anything out loud. Listening authentically is the best way to keep tabs on your team’s mental health and wellbeing.
If your team is going through hardship, they’ll need extra support. Even if you don’t know the exact situation, you can still be there when you’re needed - but you need to listen, first.
Think About What Really Matters
One positive result of 2020’s difficulties is that people are paying more attention to what really matters. We’re less distracted right now and more present.
Treating others the way you want to be treated means having your priorities in check. The Golden Rule has helped me make the right decisions when it comes to how I respond to my team. Leaders need to keep what really matters at the forefront of their minds.
Put Yourself in the Place of your Team
At the end of the day, the Golden Rule is about putting yourself in the shoes of others. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
It’s been a tough time for team leaders - even when they’re trying to do their best.
The strongest piece of advice I can give to leaders is to continually apply the Golden Rule. The smoothest way to fall into that path of thinking is to put yourself in the place of your team members.
Get your head out of the stress and take a step back. Supporting your team through their challenges and hardships can only happen if you resonate with them - standing by their side and helping them make it through.
Leaders who can do this will receive the same treatment in return. Your Golden Rule attitude will be acknowledged by the team. From my experience, a team that is supported will be motivated to surpass their limits and show you the same level of support.
Stanley C. Middleman
Freedom Mortgage Corporation