The Platinum Rule
By: Tony Alessandra

We have all heard of the Golden Rule--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It implies that other people would like to be treated the same way that you would like to be treated.

The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule: "Treat others the way they want to be treated." The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from "this is what I want, so I'll give everyone the same thing" to "let me first understand what they want and then I'll give it to them."

The Platinum Rule divides behavioral preferences into four basic styles: The Director, Socializer, Relater, and Thinker. Everyone possesses the qualities of each style to various degrees and everyone has a dominant style.


Directors are driven by two governing needs: to control and achieve. Directors are goal-oriented go-getters who are most comfortable when they are in charge of people and situations. They want to accomplish many things -- now -- so they focus on no-nonsense approaches to bottom-line results.


Socializers thrive on the admiration, acknowledgment, and compliments that come with being in the lime-light. Their primary strengths are enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are eternal optimists with an abundance of charisma. These qualities help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals.


Thinkers are analytical, persistent, systematic people who enjoy problem-solving. Thinkers are detail-oriented, which makes them more concerned with content than style. Thinkers are task-oriented people who enjoy perfecting processes and working toward tangible results. They're always in control of their emotions and may become uncomfortable around people who very out-going.


Relaters are warm and nurturing individuals. They are the most people-oriented of the four styles. Relaters are excellent listeners, devoted friends, and loyal employees. Their relaxed disposition makes them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. Relaters are excellent team players.

Adapting To Directors

Never waste their time. Be organized and get to the point. Give them bottom-line information and options, with probabilities of success, if relevant. Give them written details to read at their leisure. Appeal to their sense of accomplishment. With Directors, in general, be efficient and competent.

Adapting To Socializers

Support their ideas, goals, opinions, and dreams. Try not to argue with their pie-in-the-sky visions; get excited about them. A strong presence, stimulating and entertaining conversation, jokes, and liveliness will win them over. With Socializers, in general, be interested in them.

Adapting To Thinkers

Be sensitive to their time. They need details, so give them data. Be systematic, logical, well-prepared, and exact with them. Give them time to make decisions and work independently. Allow them to talk in detail. If appropriate, set guidelines and exact deadlines. With Thinkers, in general, be thorough, well-prepared, detail-oriented, business-like, and patient.

Adapting To Relaters

Take things slow, earn their trust, support their feelings, and show sincere interest. Talk in terms of feelings, not facts. Never back a Relater into a corner. With Relaters, in general, be non-threatening and sincere.

The Platinum Rule provides powerful social skills that will serve you well in all your relationships: business, friends, family, spouse, and children.

- Copyright 2002 by Tony Alessandra. All rights reserved.

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