Most of us are familiar with the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yet, an even more important rule for high performance leadership is the silver rule: Don’t do to others, what you don’t want others to do to you. The golden rule is focused on doing good. The silver rule is focused on preventing harm.
Application of the silver rule keeps us humble, thoughtful, and emphatic. Often, we are so enamored with our own ideas and initiatives, that we forget the negative impact of our behaviors on others.
There are three specific areas where application of the silver rule really makes us better human beings in a professional environment:
- Yes, but…. It’s an impolite no. You wouldn’t be thrilled if others respond with yes, but… to you as well. Stop it.
- Adding too much value. Have you ever been in meetings where participants fight over air time and add meaningless contributions by summarizing the summaries? Don’t be like that. Know when to hold your tongue and give others the spotlight.
- Listening to reply. People who listen to reply can’t wait to hijack the conversation and bring in their point of view. This behavior is infuriating. Listen to understand instead.
High-Performance leadership is therefore not complicated: Simply start with a straight silver attitude and stay away from toxic behaviors.