When I provide training on cross-cultural communication, I always include the cross-cultural “golden rule.”
The original “Golden Rule” is taught to many children in Australia (and I imagine other countries too) and it comes straight out of the Good Book – The Bible.
It reads, “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.” I.e. Treat people how you would want to be treated.
The cross-cultural golden rule goes like this: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Note the subtle, but significant difference? For an example of why this is important, check out my earlier blog post of the story of the monkey and the fish.
This week I read another golden rule; the golden rule of persuasion. It read, “listen to others as you would want them to listen to you.”
Now personally, I don’t believe this just applies to the art of persuasion. I think it could be used in any number of other scenarios: cross-cultural communication (maybe I need a second rule…or a silver rule…), conflict resolution, building relationships with family, friends, colleagues etc, networking, customer service…I’m sure there’s more.
Listening is such a powerful tool. Not only does it often help you find out the root cause of an issue or the key information you need, but it usually makes the other person feel seen, heard and valued – a very fast and strong way of building a trust and ultimately a collaborative bridge. This of course highly increases the effectiveness of that relationship, whether it be a work partnership, family relationship or friendship.
Have you heard of any other golden rules that are useful?