I don’t know about you, but I find Sheryl Sandberg to be quite the inspiration. In her latest book Option B she introduces us to the new and improved version of the Golden Rule—The Platinum Rule. Here’s how it works.
What Is The Platinum Rule?
The Golden Rule is essentially “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” While I certainly can’t argue the spirit behind this way of living, I have always felt was missing something. With the Platinum Rule Sheryl addresses what was missing—which is that not everyone is you. Here new rule requires you to: Ask what someone wants. Listen. Then do what they want.
It’s Not Just For Grief
Sheryl’s new rule was inspired by the awkward interactions she had with friends, family, and colleagues after her husband’s unexpected death. Like she used to do when she didn’t know what to say, is that she said and did little to nothing. Or, like so many of us—we respond how we think we may want someone to in the same situation. While well intentioned, this either leaves the person feeling like the elephant in the room, or receiving “help” that to them is not helpful.
The Platinum Rule takes things to the next level. All it requires for you to do is say “How can I help?”, “Do you want to talk about it?”, “Would it be helpful if I?” This respects people’s boundaries, while letting them know you are there. It also eliminates the “help” that is actually stressful to the recipient. Apply this rule to things both large and small.