The Platinum Rule

I remember some corporate training I received a few years ago where the person pushed the idea of the Platinum Rule being superior to the Golden Rule. Instead of “treat others as you would be treated”, it’s “treat others as they would like to be treated”. It came up again in an audiobook I recently finished.

Here are my issues with the attempt to upgrade the Golden Rule. First, you’re much more able to know yourself than others. If you’re held to the platinum standard, you’re forced to get into the business of mind reading a vast majority of the time. Sure, in some cases you can ask, or through getting to know someone closely, you’ll figure it out with some high degree of certainty. But ultimately, it’s a losing game. Secondly, and here’s the kicker: it is part of the Golden Rule. Listen, would you want others to treat you as you’d like to be treated? Of course! So, the Golden Rule has it baked in — you’re obliged to make an effort. That said, would you hold people accountable for not knowing your particular idiosyncrasies? Most reasonable people would not.

Let’s not get in the business of expecting people to mind read. That doesn’t seem like an expectation setup for a great outcome in society.

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